GiftChocolate    One of our sons asked me recently how we can know for sure whether our love for someone is real. I thought about it for a while. I heard a great quote about love in a movie the name of which I don’t recall: “Love is not what you feel inside. Love is the way you treat the person you say you love.” This is what it means to me: 

TO LOVE = To Give Your (TIME + ATTENTION + ENERGY)     

     This formula could be applied in a professional setting, adding “Give Your EXPERTISE” to the mix. 

TO LOVE YOUR WORK = To Give it Your (TIME + ATTENTION + ENERGY + EXPERTISE)     

     If you say that you don’t love your work, and yet you give it your time, attention, energy, and expertise, you are acting as if you love your work. If you say that you do love your work, but don’t give it your time, attention, energy, and expertise, your feelings are not meaningful outside of your mind/heart.Notice the disparity between your thoughts and actions. “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.” The disparity between your thoughts and actions is tough on you. Where do you want to give your time, attention, energy and expertise?

   Think about about activities and people to whom you already give your time, attention, and energy. That’s where you love. Consider who in your circle gives you his or her time, attention, and energy. That’s where you are being loved.

     I love coaching, and I love walking analytical people through using intuition. I love giving clients my time, attention, energy, and expertise.

     It is my birthday today (yes, Friday, the 13th :-) ), and my wish is to do more of what I love. I made time for you, and would love to give you my attention, energy anBirthday Chocolatesd expertise, as a gift. Because giving you a gift of my time, attention, energy, and expertise is also a gift to myself.                                                              

HERE’s HOW IT WORKS:

1. Think whether you’d like a 1-hour coaching session, or a 30-minute intuitive reading, then click here
2. Go to “WEEK 9″, which is the last week of February.
3. Pick an open appointment time 2/23 – 2/27 that works for you
4. Select a 1-hr Coaching Session, or a 30-min intuition Strategy Session.
5. Click on “Pay Later” (I would love to you to “pay” in referrals, if you can), and you will receive a confirmation of our session shortly. 
We’ll play until my schedule for that week fills up.

     Among all the things that I can guarantee to my clients, finding love isn’t one of them.

     I help clients make decisions, clarify what they want, find common ground with their current partners, decide how they want to come across, but when it comes to finding love, I balk. Of course, finding love may be a magnificent side-effect of executive coaching, but never a guarantee.

     I’m an analytical thinker: I want a goal and a plan, with supporting scientific evidence. When it comes to love, things don’t seem to work that way. Trying to understand love through science is like hoping to grasp the mind through studying the brain, or expecting to experience happiness through studying positive psychology. 

     What science can do when it comes to love is help us navigate relationships more peacefully. So, here are 7 helpful science-based ideas that we can use to answer our questions about love:

1. Can you trust the feelings of “I just know” and “It just feels so right!”?

     As much as it pains me to say so, “I justknow” is not an indicator of what you actually know, or an accurate reflection of how things actually are. According to a neuroscientist Dr. Robert Burton, the feeling of knowing is an uncontrollable feeling that can flush over us without any corresponding facts or supporting evidence for actually knowing anything. If you have a “Know it all” person in your life (or if you are a “know it all” person yourself), Burton’s book “On Being Certain” is required reading.

2. Do people change in a relationship?

     While people’s personality tends to be fairly stable (translation: no, people don’t really change in relationships), it’s not to say that people always make predictable choices. Here are some ideas of what people can and can’t change about themselves in a relationship,based on what Psychology tells us about personality.

3. Should I have high expectations or low expectations for a romantic relationship?

     Well, it depends on whether you’re aiming for happiness or for success. (Read how expectations correlate with success and happiness.)

4. Is it possible to take an objective look at our relationships, without appealing to an outsider’s opinion, in order to gain clarity and perspective?

     Goethe famously said: “We see only what we know.” A mind has numerous limitations to assessing itself, ranging from genetic predispositions to cultural biases, according to Robert Burton. Timothy Wilson in his book“Strangers to Ourselves” suggests that we need to combine introspection with observing the way others react to us. Since we can’t fully understand ourselves “from the inside of our heads”, it makes sense to ask for input from an outside. Pick your adviser wisely, though.

5. Is it important to be realistic about my partner?

     It may seem counter-intuitive, but idealizing your partner seems to prevent the decline of marital satisfaction. So, go ahead, put your pink glasses on.

6. What can I do to allow myself to fall in love?

     In my [completely unscientific] opinion, love grows as we become each other’s story keepers. And here’s a great, fun article aboutspecific questions that you can ask to facilitate story-telling and story-keeping, and to ultimately fall in love.

7. Is there really the key to having a happy marriage?

     Here’s one: “If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.” And another good science-based advice: enjoy each other! On a less happy note, if you’re going through a difficult break-up, here’s some consolation from science: maybe, meds can help.

May you always feel loved.

And please, do join me for a retreat that I’ll be leading in May at Garrison

 

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Intuition Retreat at Garrison Institute

Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union Address made me think of this: what are our rituals for evaluating our successes on regular basis, and setting inspiring agendas for the year?

Think of yourself as the commander-in-chief of your life. Instead of the dreaded New Year resolution, write your own annual State of the Union Address, to reflect on the things you’ve done right, and to set inspiring intentions for the following year.

Even in your toughest years, you have a lot to celebrate: you’ve survived and you’ve grown. Acknowledging the good things that you’ve done in the past year makes your mind focus on the fact that you’re a competent and resourceful person. Hence, you’re more likely to approach a new challenge from the position of competence and resourcefulness rather than weakness.

Setting intentions for the coming year is much like typing your destination into a GPS: you may not know the specific road you will take, but you know where you want to end up. If you don’t have an intention or a destination in mind, than any place is as good as any other place. If you want to end up in a better place, set an intention, pick a destination, and you can always change course later, if necessary.

Flowers from my amazing student     Over the past year, I started teaching hands-on intuition development workshops for analytical people, combining what I learned from neuroscience and business texts with practical tools developed by my intuition mentors. (I just got a bouquet of flowers from one of my amazing students, which made my day. It reminded me that I’m on the right track. If you see someone who’s on the right track, do send them a bouquet of flowers, or a Starbucks gift card, or just a card – it makes such a difference!). My intention for the near future is to fill the Intuition & Decision-Making Retreat in May 1-3, 2015 with smart, curious, analytical thinkers who want to spend a restful weekend at Garrison Institute, learning to understand and use their intuition. Please, help me make this magic happen by joining the retreat, and sharing info with your friends! Many thanks.

Here are some of the things you may want to include in your personal annual State of the Union Address:

1. Simplifying. Multitasking and constant distractions are making us less efficient, making our minds frequently feel overloaded. Did you let go of something last year that made your life easier? What can you simplify or let go of in the coming year?

2. Asking. What did you ask for in 2014, and you got? What resources would you like to ask for in the coming year? (Here’s my ask: please share the Intuition & Decision-Making Retreat link with your tribe! http://IntuitionLeap.com/retreat )

3. Giving. What did you give last year that made you feel richer? Did you support the causes that you believe in? Did you give what you needed most (for example, gave to charity even when you were strapped for cash, gave your energy and attention to someone even when you felt lonely and depressed, and needed energy and attention yourself)? What would you like to get in 2015 that you can also give? Expertise? Energy? Time?

4. Sleeping. Your brain does amazing things while you’re sleeping. Can you think of a time when you let yourself rest and sleep in, even when you had a ton of things that needed to get done? Did it work out well? How can you build in more sleep into your 2015 routines?

5. Learning. Have you learned a new skill, read a new book, figure out how to do a new project in 2014? What would you like to learn in 2015? Surprise yourself.

6. Loving. Did you connect with someone new in 2014? Did you deepen your personal connection with someone? Did you fall [deeper] in love with someone or something? How can you make more room, time and energy for love in 2015?

7. Playing. Can you think of a time when you just laughed and had fun in 2014? Did you make time to rest and play? Can you set an intention to allow time to play in 2015? Be as specific as you can in your SOTU.

8. Creating. Did you create something interesting in 2014? It could be something as simple as a new system to help things run smoother at home, to building/painting/cooking something, or implementing a major change at work. What would you like to create in 2015?

Here is an idea: make a tradition out of writing and delivering your personal State of the Union Address. Get together with a few people you care about, and have a SOTU party in late January or early February, where each of you can share your SOTU address. You could also do it in your family, in your class, your mastermind group, or a book club.

I’d love to hear how your Personal SOTU Address goes! Would you please send me a picture or a video from your Personal SOTU Address 2015 (even if it’s the “party of 1″ for you), listing the best thing that came out of this project? Send your picture/video by March 1st to Alina@IntuitionLeap.com , and I’ll add your name to a raffle for 1-hour executive coaching session and 30-min intuitive reading session (let’s make them transferable, in case you win one and want to give it to someone you love).

 

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My Best Resources from 2014

December 31, 2014 Happiness

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite resources from 2014, as well as my work that you said made a difference for you. Let’s keep sharing our best resources! Thank you, and have a peaceful, insightful, and healthy 2015! (Image: my best 2014 accomplishment in the kitchen is this Napoleon, made from scratch). My […]

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Best Thing You Can Wish For

December 23, 2014 Decision-making

           Between all the memories, obligations, presents, family gatherings, hopes, expectations, responsibilities and promises, this time of the year can feel hectic and stressful. Still, this time of the year that calls for dreaming and wishing good things to each other. As I sat down to write this holiday newsletter, I wondered what would be the […]

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What You’ve Never Done Before

November 26, 2014 Decision-making

     I’m about to do something I’ve never done before.     I’m inviting you to join me on an unusual, restorative, and magical journey, where you’ll learn something “off the beaten path”, yet essential. Would you please join me?     I’m leading a 3-day retreat for curious and analytical thinkers who want to develop their […]

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When to Choose the Easy Path

October 31, 2014 Career Change

Let’s do a 30-second experiment. Ready? Grab a piece of paper and a pen, divide the paper into two columns, and label them “Easy Path” and “Hard Path”. Now, put each of the following adjectives in the column where it fits best (don’t overthink it, just follow your initial gut response):  Boring – Joyful + […]

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Are You Missing Out? Here’s How to Tell

September 13, 2014 Decision-making

(Please don’t miss the “Be the First to Know” update at the end of the article!) I ran into my ex-ex-ex-boyfriend and his beautiful wife in Manhattan. We chit-chatted a bit, and once my ex-ex-ex stepped away, his wife asked: “I was wondering: how did you ever let this guy go? Look at him! Tall, […]

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The Best Story You’ll Ever Tell

July 9, 2014 Am I Good Enough?

“Tell me a story!” I asked. It was my favorite line when I was a child. (What was your favorite line as a child?) “What do you want the story to be about? Give me a topic,” my grandma used to reply. “About anything”, which usually meant: “Tell me a story about your life. Tell me about your life […]

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How World Cup Can Improve Work Engagement

June 18, 2014 Career Change

Let me say this upfront: if you’re trying to get someone you love to watch any sports game with you, or at the very least, to leave you in peace as you’re watching the game, this article will be a powerful weapon in your arsenal.  Since the start of the World Cup, all the boys […]

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Expectations: to Have or Not to Have

May 23, 2014 Career Change

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “The key to happiness is low expectations”. It’s common wisdom, but is it really true? It seems to ring true: when you don’t expect much, and then get something good, your expectations are exceeded, which, in turn, should theoretically make you happy. (Unless you immediately start questioning whether you have set the bar […]

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