Self love is a journey and one that I'm loving

"The message or story that I'd like to share is that self love and loving relationships are a journey, not a destination.

About a month after I finished the Get Ready for Love course I found myself in an exciting, growing relationship in which I did something massively different from my previous relationships - I shared my thoughts and feelings openly and honestly! It sounds so simple but it was revolutionary. Sometimes I did this easily and quickly, sometimes it was scary and rocky and took me a while to get there.

About a year and a half later, this relationship has ended. And this is because I spoke openly and honestly about what I needed and wanted, so it is the first time I have come out of a relationship and felt like I am on the road to success. It was a very different relationship, and a very different break up.

And now I'm giving myself lots of time and space to feel my feelings, to nurture myself, to focus on myself and when I'm feeling full to the brim of love I'll be ready to welcome in a new loving experience! And I'll do that by starting the GRFL course all over again, right from lesson 1.

So I don't have a "and they lived happily ever after" Project Love story - but maybe it's just as good, if not better - "and she loved herself even harder, and vowed to do so every day for the rest of her life". That's a pretty great ending, right!?

Thanks again for what you've created together and for being yourselves. You rock!!!"

- Lucy

From divorce to pure love and happiness: 8 lessons on the way to my true self by Irina Sanlo

 
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In this blog, I want to walk you through my personal love story and all the lessons I have learnt on the way towards myself and my happy life. It was a hilly road but years after I realized that every single bump on that road was absolutely worth having and experiencing as without it I would never had such a joyful and happy life as I have now.

I was 23 when I got married first time. We had been dating since we were 18 and it simply made sense to get married after 5 years of dating and because “it was kind of necessary and important” to be married by 25.

Married life was ok in the beginning. 6 years slowly passed. I was working for a mid-size investment consultancy, got new friends, and travelled quite a bit with my husband. On the surface, it was all good and according to some friends, I had a “perfect” life.

The only problem was that I did not feel happy. I have been living a very ordinary, routine life (work-home-discuss routine topics with my husband). I got very bored, lost all the energy I had (and trust me, I am VERY energetic by nature) and was completely demotivated. All my attempts to attend some seminars to maybe find the answers about what was going on with my life failed, as my husband considered that to be a waste of money and time.

In that period my husband started an affair with his colleague. She was very determined to get a husband for herself. She was tired of being single. She succeeded. It was a very difficult time for me. I was completely lost. I did not know what I wanted in life, who I was, what was important to me. I was depressed and got a nervous breakdown.

As they say, in order to change your life dramatically, you really need to hit the rock-bottom, which I did.  The beauty of that is that there is absolutely nothing else to loose. I lost everything I had –husband, house, financial stability, my self-esteem, confidence, dignity, self-respect and most of the friends (they were his friends). The only way to fix all this mess was to start doing something and I did

I did a lot of research about happiness and what to do to be happy. It was all very generic and overwhelming. I decided it is better to start making small steps rather than read non-stop and do nothing with it. I started with attending numerous seminars and trainings, watched webinars about all possible happiness-related topics (self-love, self-respect, etc) and went to different retreats, discovered yoga and meditation.

However, I thought that all of this is nothing if I did not have a man next to me, who can support me, love me, marry me and be with me. I thought it was very logical and normal given that I was over 30 and “the time was ticking”.

I set up the goal to find a man and better do that fast. I registered on lots of online dating sites, started going on dates few times a week, feeling happy that I was so active and that very soon with this determination I would find a good guy. I was very pleased with how busy and exciting my life was.

My dating experience varied a lot. Some men treated me really well, but they did not want to have serious relationships as they “were not ready for that”. Some men treated me not well, not turning up for dates, not keeping promises. My longest relationship was with a man who thought that I was too perfect for him, like a saint. He felt very weird and flawed with me. To cut it short, all men were sooner or later, slowly or quickly disappearing from my life and no one stuck around.

I spent all those years on working and OVER working, stressing about this or that, living in my head and thoughts, being super busy, trying to be someone the world wanted me to be. I became completely exhausted and disconnected from myself, my dreams, my passions, my feelings, the present moment, the joy and beauty around. I had very low confidence. I was insecure, needy and yearned for external validation. I needed the world and other people to like me, accept me and love me because I was terrified of judgment, criticism and rejections. I became obsessed with becoming everything I thought they wanted me to be. I tried to look perfect, be perfect and behave perfectly. I tried to fit into society and be like everyone else. I lost myself completely in becoming someone I am not.

And this went on for quite a while until I could not take it anymore and then something in me just clicked, I called it a “wake-up moment”. I realized that I was sick of being lost and confused, tired of this underlying sense of anxiety because I felt there was something missing, like there was more to who I was, like there was a deeper reason of why I was there. I was tired of hearing people say “this is just how life is; it is hard and stressful, just accept it”. Somehow all that did not sit well with me because I knew there was MORE.

It took quite a bit of self-reflection, self-awareness, self-discovery, self-love (Project Love's Get Ready for Love course helped a lot there!) and introspective work to get to a point where I knew myself so much that when other people tried to define me, I did not care anymore. I just knew my truth and I knew very well that they did not. I felt so grounded and so sure about who I was that nothing else mattered to me that much. Of course, I was still sensitive to rejections and judgment, but it did not hit me as hard, the effects did not last as long and I did not let it define or control my choices in life.

I was waking up every morning with a sense of peace and calm, feeling excited to start my day, feeling confident in who I was, having a sense of purpose. I felt like I was living an empowered life when I have the strength, courage and energy to make positive changes in my life, and go after my dreams. I stopped holding myself back with self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.  I felt proud of who I was. I felt free and I owned who I was, owned what I wanted, owned my dreams and desires. I started living full and happy life.

And only then everything in my love life started to shift too. Everything changed and it happened naturally and effortlessly. I registered to just one website. I spent there just two hours per week (those were my boundaries, in line with my new found sense of self-love). I met just one man from that website who proposed to me just 5 months after, bought us a house of my dreams and organized for us two dream weddings in London and Mallorca 9 months later. Our love story is very natural and easy, our love is pure and unconditional, there is no effort, no issues… because what we only need to do to make this work–just be WHO WE ARE.

To summarise, I want to share my TOP 8 Lessons on the way to my true self:

  1. Accept responsibility for your life. It is so much easier to blame others for what you have  in life but when you honestly accept that your life is only YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, then you will start making small steps towards your dreams rather than sit and wait until you will become happy.
  2. Happiness is a CHOICE, the choice YOU make. Happiness is inside of you, it is not all those external things that when obtained will make you happy.
  3. Love and appreciate what you have, rather that focus on what you do not have.
  4. Journaling is an extremely powerful tool to get to know yourself better, connect with your emotions, and write down your dreams and your worries. Studies show that journaling helps you focus, release emotions and let go of things that are bothering you, increases your creativity and boosts your memory. Even if it is only 10 minutes a day, it will really help you to know yourself much better.
  5. Make self-love your priority. This is absolutely crucial. When you have self-love, you know when to say “No” to people or activities (i.e. set your boundaries), you eat healthy, you exercise, you relax when you feel tired, you always have FREE time in your diary when you do not plan anything and just go with the flow, you know when to just stop and “be”, and you are definitely not hectically busy.
  6. Be Patient.  Changes in your life do not happen over night, they take time and effort. I have learnt that things usually happen when you are ready to take them in, when the time is right. So just trust the process and enjoy your journey.
  7. Choose good enough, not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Being perfect is like being a robot. Perfect is boring.  Most beautiful things in the world are flawed. It is the flows that make something unique and beautiful. Knowing this gave me such a freedom, freedom to be myself, to say whatever I wanted. I just knew that even “silly things” would make sense for the right person who will be with me no matter what.
  8. Slow down when you feel that you are unhappy. You may think that the faster you do things towards your goal (the more you date, the more you do at work to succeed), the faster you will achieve your goal. Paradoxically, the faster you move, the slower you go. The main reason is that you are acting out of FEAR (fear of being alone, time is ticking, fear of being not good enough, etc).  When you slow down and focus your full attention on getting in touch with your authentic self and your deep desires, then meeting your man or transforming your life will be faster, more natural and easier. Slowing down is about getting out of your head, getting into a relaxed state of mind and becoming aware of what is going on inside of you.

All in all, when you are authentic, it will probably make some men disappear from your life, but the right man will stay, no matter what you do and say, he will just stick around and love you for being you. Trying to be perfect, being a “good girl” or whatever you want to be not only requires lots of energy and time, it moves you away from your happy life.

So don’t waste your precious time on being who you are not. Focus on discovering who you truly are. This is the only way to be happy and fulfilled in all areas of your life.

Focus more on “being”, not “doing”. In the end of the day, we are “human-beings”, not “human-doings”.

About Irina SanLo:

A playful, positive and inspirational professional coach/NLP Practitioner/banking senior executive committed to supporting busy women through their journey of self-discovery back to love, joy and happiness. Irina has dedicated past 5 years working with busy women to discover how extraordinary they are, to have them know their resourcefulness and inner power, reconnect with themselves and find love and joy in everyday life. She has been empowering women around the world to slow down and become in love with their lives AGAIN!

If you are interested to know what programmes Irina is offering, you may contact her on Irina.sanlo1310@gmail.com and arrange a FREE Discovery call to see how she can support you in your journey back to your authentic self.

I want to tell everyone how happy I am

I want to tell everyone here that I am happy. It’s a year and a half since I started Get Ready for Love and I have to say that it has changed my life. When I started it, I was miserable after a long run of romantic failures, and I was letting that impact on other areas of my life. I knew it was important to love yourself, a lot of people say that but there isn’t an instruction manual on how to achieve this, until now!

On the outside it would seem like nothing has changed, I am not dating anyone & I do all the same things I always did, but inside everything has changed. I feel 100% happy with my life now.

The most important lesson I have learned while doing the course and the thing that has had the greatest impact on my life is learning to deal with the shitty committee or ‘The Frog Chorus’ as I now call them. This hideous group of ugly toads were hidden away in my mind, whispering terrible things to me all the time and I didn’t even know they were there! They said really strange things like ‘Men won’t be interested in you because you don’t eat bacon’ (this is probably the most stupid thing they said!). I turned to look at them and they didn’t like it, and then I started to tell them that some of the things they said didn’t really make sense and that I had evidence to prove it! They have never recovered from that!

I overheard a lady tell a little girl (maybe her grandaughter) the other day ‘Girls don’t play with lightsabers!’. The girl, who was about 4 years old, ignored her, picked up the lightsaber and proceeded to go to battle with whoever she imagined she was fighting. This is what I can do now with the Frog Chorus. They might still try to whisper in my ear, but I can roll my eyes and pick up the lightsaber!

Thanks for the course, it really has been a game changer for me.
— Sarah

Watch Saskia's love story unfold in her Love Zone posts

 
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We asked Saskia if we could share some of her posts in the Love Zone, showing her love story unfold from her first date with herself, to daring to sign up to tinder, to getting engaged to a guy she met on her first three tinder dates...

March 11 2016
I’ve been focusing on the self-love phase of the course for the last few weeks and I’ve absolutely loved it. For the first time, I’m finding I don’t NEED attention and acceptance from others as I’m giving myself the love I craved. I told my best friend that I wasn’t looking for a relationship at the moment as I was focusing on me. She nearly spat out her tea and exclaimed “I’ve been waiting for so long for you to say that, this is great news!”.

Tomorrow I have my date with myself booked. Lunch at a nice restaurant in Windsor followed by watching a Ballet I used to enjoy as a child - Coppelia. I haven’t been to a Ballet for years, I’m excited! I’ll let you know how it goes! 😊

June 5, 2016

So, I put myself in tinder today and created a profile which I hope presents me authentically. I’ve been using the tips from the how to use internet dating the right way podcast to aid my swiping. It’s amazing how many guys don’t say a thing about themselves on there! Anyway, I’ve matched up with a couple of guys I thought looked friendly and have dates booked with them next weekend and the following week! 😊

June 16 2016

As promised I thought I’d let you know how my first 3 tinder dates went.

Date 1: we went to a cafe and sat in the sun drinking lemonade and eating cake. I had a lovely afternoon of intelligent conversation with a guy who asked lots of questions about me and the conversation flowed well. I had zero sexual attraction to him but was surprised how much I enjoyed the afternoon. We’ve decided to stay friends

Date 2: we watched an acoustic guitarist play at a local bar. A really genuine guy who wasn’t afraid to show his vulnerable side (not in a sissy way though!). I felt happy and relaxed around him. The conversation again flowed well and we were both smiling a lot. He has a good sense of humour. At the end of the date he walked my back to my car - bonus points for being a gent!! I’m seeing him again next week!

Date 3: we played mini golf and then went for a drink. Mini golf was a great way to break the ice and suss out each other’s competitive side! I was losing miserably at one point so he decided to change the scoring system to give me more of an advantage - very sweet. However, when it came to just chatting the conversation struggled a bit and even got negative with him moaning about his job and people he worked with. I didn’t feel we had a connection. I’ve decided not to see him again.

June 13 2017

Today, I am celebrating my one year anniversary with Dan who I met when I started the dating phase of ‘Get ready for Love’. He is the most caring, kind and considerate man I’ve ever met and has an amazing sense of humour to go with it. Project love is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, and for all of those beginning the course, you’ve got great things to come. Sending lots of love on this special day.

Dec 22, 2017

I have some exciting news...my love story hit new heights last evening when Dan (who I met during the dating phase of my project love journey) proposed! He got down on one knee in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen which is lit up with thousands of fairy lights this time of year. He’s given me a ‘placeholder’ ring; a simple and elegant love knot ring by a Danish designer. I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Project Love for helping me get to this moment xxx
— Saskia
Saskia and Dan

 

I found love again after being crushed at the unexpected collapse of my marriage

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First of all, I’d like to thank Vicki and Selina for the amazing course that they’ve created. It has been such a unique experience, although my journey on self-love is not complete yet, I’ve come so far with their help and with the help of the Love Zone - our FB group.

I joined the course in May 2017, after my friend persuaded me to. I was crushed by the unexpected collapse of my marriage and to be honest, has little faith that things ever change for the better.

With every next lesson, I’ve discovered that I can just let myself be, accept my feelings, take care of myself better, and gradually started to enjoy my own company.

The concept of self-love, previously alien, now made so much sense. I felt complete just being myself, and it has manifested in my dating life.

I met my current partner on a second Tinder date. I went to that date with an open mind, excited and thinking “let’s see how it goes”. I could feel my own happy vibes as I felt confident, content and curious. Pre-GRFL I would try too hard to be liked, wouldn’t dare to just be myself, and definitely wouldn’t enjoy dating that much.

We spent 4 hours talking and 2 hours kissing that night.

He’s not my “type” and I’m so happy I did let go of my list “what a man should be”. I just kept kind and loyal on that list.

It’s been just over 9 months now, we both still finalising our divorces and it’s challenging, but I’ve never felt so alive and happy before. It took a lot of work, and it was very difficult to recognise some of the old patterns and let them go too. Now I’m just happy to be me and excited about the future while enjoying the present.

The lessons learned throughout the course... self-love is not a luxury, not something to do if you have five minutes left at the end of the day or even next weekend. It’s a necessity, something to be practised every day. Only by giving ourselves love and respect can we attract the same from others.

Another lesson for me, which came later and may sound a bit obvious - but being in a relationship doesn’t mean to let go of self-love, we can’t just sit there and expect another person to do the job for us if we don’t keep it up.

So thank you again Vicki and Selina.

x Irina
— Irina

Join us, PJ and 100s of other women like her over on our Get Ready for Love course and see what it does for you!

I’ve never felt so happy, so close to my true self, nor so free.

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I came to Project Love initially to welcome a man into my life and get through heartbreak. The process was uplifting, joyful, painful, beautiful, ugly and ultimately the start of my journey to self love. It also started my journey to designing a life that I loved.

I quit my job, went to Nicaragua for a month. Came home, did a yoga teacher training course just for my practice but have ended up teaching a little. I still contract in finance for the money, but I am on my way to getting to my end goal.

Project love has taught me how to make space in my life to welcome all the great adventures that the universe has to share. I’ve never felt so happy, so close to my true self, nor so free. My story of love is falling in love with myself. A cliche? Hell yes. It’s not an original thought, the concept has been around since the beginning of time. For.a.reason. Happiness is there if you want it. You just need to woman up and grab it.

I believe the man will come when he is ready to join the fun.

All my love to Selina and Vicki for putting me on this rollercoaster of hooting, laughing and screaming go faster
— PJ

Join us, PJ and 100s of other women like her over on our Get Ready for Love course and see what it does for you!