“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. “— Nora Ephron
I honestly didn’t know if I could ever find love again. I’d already experienced “the love of my life” that flourished over 2 decades.
Do you get more than one soulmate in a lifetime? Mine was gone, but my desire to be in love didn’t go away with his sudden passing.
Years later, after a few dates and then a relationship that lasted far too long, I found myself longing for a meaningful connection, one where I could feel like the love of someone’s life.
More than that. I wanted someone who could challenge me intellectually, excite me physically, and love me no matter what.
In my workplace, I kept hearing horror stories of dating on the internet or meeting potential dates at the cocktail hour in a local restaurant. None of it appealed to me.
I was suddenly at a time when I just liked being in my home, fixing dinner, and enjoying a Netflix binge.
My children had left for college, and the house was mine alone. I could wander around without clothes, I could eat when I wanted, and have a glass of wine and write till 2:00 am. But there was still that longing…
Could I find love again?
I decided to approach this desire in a completely new way… I’d create a master plan, a strategy for finding the love of my life!
First Strategy: Learn to Love Yourself
“Love can only be found through the act of loving.” — Paulo Coelho
How did I feel about myself?
Desirable? Beautiful? Confident? Not really. I was a decade older. I was no longer in the “babe” category, but I knew there were things that could make me feel more desirable, beautiful, and confident as I opened up my world to the possibility of new love.
The first and most important thing was to learn to love myself more, and how does one do this?
The quest began. I started a makeover that addressed my body, mind, and spirit.
I was physically exhausted from sleep deprivation most of my life. I was a mom for the last two decades and a single working mom for the last ten years. I was up every morning at 6:00 am to get the day started and crawled into bed after the nightly news at 11:30 pm each night.
I vowed to fix my tired self.
Thank goodness for Oprah. I remembered her sharing how she created a morning ritual for herself, beginning with making Chai Tea.
I relished starting the day with a pleasant and peaceful ritual. I let my family and my business partner know I was not available before 8:00 am (the iPhone “Do Not Disturb” option works great).
This allowed me to wake-up at a glorious 7:00 am with a beautiful morning plan that set the day in motion. How rich I felt gifting myself with that extra hour of sleep.
My strategy begins with brewing fresh coffee and foaming milk in the frother, so it sits right on top of the hot brew. I crawl back into bed, setting the cup on a coffee warmer.
I select inspirational reading from my bedside stack, then read for 10 or 15 minutes. I do a five-minute meditation, then write in my journal (lots of gratitude within the pages-Oprah said it changed her life).
Social media comes next, the birthday wishes, high fives, and silly cat videos.
In total, it’s a 45-minute routine that easily starts my day. Centered, motivated, and aware.
Then, off to the gym.
I loved my routine so much, it quickly became non-negotiable.
That fixed the morning issues… but what about nighttime? I still fought bedtime like a tired child screaming for one last story before succumbing to sleep.
I loved my electronics far too much! I’d even check messages and Facebook in the middle of the night if I happened to rouse.
I began creating a ritual for bedtime, just as I had for my morning. I researched the use of guided meditations and meditative music, and found several I could download on iTunes.
Within a week of implementing my plan, people remarked that I looked rested. I began to get more compliments. I’d dropped a few pounds (from the utter peace I was feeling), and friends said I looked better than ever.
And the byproduct? I felt happy… happier than I had in years.
I discovered that happiness is the true beauty.
Second Strategy: Make Space for Love
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love.” — Tom Robbins
Have you ever thought you might be crowding love out?
It’s a novel idea I credit to Paula Joy MacNab, my lifelong friend and co-host of an AM Talk Radio (KNRY) show we did for many years in Northern California.
Our show, Passion by Design, addressed living a life of passion in life, love, and our living spaces. Our topic that particular show was “Making Room for Relationships.” (Past shows on iTunes Podcasts)
Paula shared the story of how one of her interior design clients complained that she was quite lonely and dreamed of being in a relationship someday. She’d been alone for many years and didn’t have a clue as to why. She was attractive, successful, with a great personality. Perplexing.
Paula was there to redesign the living room. As Paula always did, she asked to see the rest of the house to get a feel of the entire space.
It was pleasantly decorated but cluttered and overflowing with old reminders of her past. As Paula assessed the master bedroom, she recommended clearing one of the nightstands, as though inviting someone to fill it and feel welcome.
Paula asked which side of the bed she slept on, and the client embarrassingly admitted she slept in the middle of her great big master bed, a habit that left no room for anyone else.
There was not one square inch in the home where a future lover could find personal space, not even the master bed.
It’s easy to claim it all when you live alone.
Paula recommended her client empty one of the rooms for a future “someone’s” potential office and clear a large closet for someone else’s clothes. She also suggested packing away old treasures and encouraged her to give away those things that didn’t bring joy anymore. (read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Forleo for a life changing system!)
Interesting concept, isn’t it? Making space for love?
I thought I’d try it. I cleaned out the other side of the garage to make room for another car. I cleared out a closet and an entire room I’d used (but never used!) as a gym.
I re-thought many of the personal items in my home that had been with me for so long that I didn’t even see them anymore! I put some in a donation box; others I rearranged and discovered they felt quite fresh in their new place!
Okay… so that was the material side of my life, now organized.
Third Strategy: How to Manifest the Love of Your Life
“Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.” — LorettaYoung
Does manifestation really work? It just might.
When I look at my past, I have to admit many of the things I’d visualized had come true, but it wasn’t without effort and action.
Effort and action … those were the missing components for many people.They could visualize, but unless it’s paired with action, it can’t happen. Or at least that’s my take on it.
In my morning search for meditations, I came across one titled “Create the Love of Your Life.”
Hmmmm. Why not?
I began listening to that meditation every night before falling asleep.
It’s a beautiful 10-minute piece that helps you imagine your future with love in it.
I listened to the music and it drew me into my imagination, picturing myself happy, walking hand in hand with a man, on a beach.
It was a small isolated cove, and the sun was just setting. I viewed my fantasy as though I was watching my own movie. My feet feeling the warm wet sand, and I heard birds chirping in a large tree ahead where the cove jutted out into the sea.
I was with the love of my life, but I didn’t picture a face… I knew it was important to be open to whatever the universe might bring, not my pre-concieved ideas.
The ocean waves scattered foam around my feet, and I felt the passion welling up inside of me. How good it felt to be with a partner… safe, happy, and in love.
A critical key to manifestation is being in tune with your senses and feeling the emotion around it. Smell the ocean, hear the waves, feel the feelings.
By this time, I was usually asleep, but oh what peaceful sleep it was!
I know it sounds like metaphysical woo-woo, but I had nothing to lose.
I repeated this routine nightly for weeks, maybe months. Besides, it was a way to fall asleep into a delicious dream state.
“You only learn to love again when you fall in love again.” — Adele
Apparently, my destiny was planned for me decades ago.
When I was just 16, I’d traveled to New York to join a musical group that would tour the world. I clearly remember getting off the ferry to David’s Island where we’d be rehearsing the show for the next several months.
Someone else noticed this tall redhead with a fiery spirit that thought she could change the world.
All these decades later that handsome man re-introduced himself to me, and we began a conversation that never ended.
We married a year later!
On our second anniversary, we went to Hawaii and walked the beach just before sunset. It was the end of such a perfect day… I held his hand tenderly, feeling so extraordinarily happy, and then it hit me…
I began to cry.
Here I was with the man I loved, holding hands, walking the curved shoreline of the cove, birds chirping in the huge tree up ahead, and waves lapping at our feet.
I had done it. I had manifested the man of my dreams.
He is my true love and I am his.
Believe in love… it finds you when you’re ready. Your destiny is waiting for you to imagine, so that it can do the rest.
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” — Paolo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Here’s the meditation I referred to! “Create the Love of Your Life.” by Stin Hansen (or another version here). Enjoy! I’m Sandy Peckinpah and I love writing about creativity, entrepreneurship, and living your best life.