Mindfulness

5 Ways to Remain Mindful in Online Dating

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I know what you must be thinking. “Mindfulness and online dating? Is it even possible that the two concepts can exist together?” Well, my friend, like any other thing, it’s all in the way you approach it. If you’re considering online dating, or are already doing it, it is possible to both remain mindful and use online dating to find a great date or relationship. Let’s explore how. 1. Interact Authentically

I’ve written before about how to create an attractive, authentic online dating profile. If you haven’t already read the post, I definitely encourage you to do so by clicking here. When it comes to interacting with other users, try to do so with a certain level of self-awareness, intentionality and openness. To be mindful in your online dating journey, it’s important to understand the difference between being authentically friendly and falsely familiar.

2. Explore with Purpose

Instead of browsing profiles aimlessly, whether it is to pass the time or otherwise, I urge you to be purposeful each time you open the app or log onto the site. Setting the intention to explore only the profiles that really match what you’re looking for, and thinking twice about who you “like” or who you message, will help keep you on your true path to finding the right partner.

3. Limit Your Screen Time

We’ve all heard that spending too much time on social media can be detrimental to a person’s self-esteem, self-worth and overall life experience. The same can be said about dating apps and sites, especially as they become more and more popular with more profiles than ever before to flip through. Consider limiting your “screen time” each day to ensure you remain purposeful in your exploration and avoid “app addiction.”

4. Release Feelings of Rejection

When you see a profile that interest you and you send a like or shoot them a message, it’s natural to feel a sort of rush. There’s an exciting anticipation in waiting for a reply from someone you think you might be attracted to, but it’s important to remember to not become too invested this early on. I encourage you to not take any lack of reply as something personal. Don’t allow yourself to feel rejected, because you genuinely haven’t been. And, when you do take a conversation offline and meet for a date, try not to set expectations. Every experience offers the opportunity for learning and reflection.

5. Reflect Regularly & Honestly

Pausing every once in a while to check in with yourself and really evaluate where you’re at and where you want to go is crucial to living your truest, most authentic life. It’s also an incredibly effort when it comes to online dating. It can be easy to become passive and settle into a routine of logging on, checking profiles, sending a few messages and calling it a day. Remember to take time to reflect on the results you’re seeing (or not seeing), what’s working and what’s not. Be honest with yourself without being critical and commit to taking the steps you need in order to be successful in your journey.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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Why & How to Create a Conscious Relationship

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I’ve written before about the concept of conscious uncoupling, and the powerful and positive effects having the right mindset can have during the dissolution of a relationship. What I want to focus on today, however, are the ways in which you can create a conscious relationship with your new or existing partner. No matter the stage of your relationship, whether it is new or familiar, you will be amazed at the positive impact committing to growing a relationship filled with mindfulness, mutual respect and authenticity can have. Ready to shift your mindset and bring true consciousness to your relationship? Let’s dig in. 1. Commit to Total Union & Kick Judgment to the Curb

I encourage my clients to view a relationship as the union of two separate, complete and fulfilled beings. You are not a half and your partner is not a half. Rather, you have joined to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. In order for such a partnership to reach its full potential, it’s important that you see yourselves as full beings outside of the relationship.

You are joined with your partner on a journey to find, grow and sustain happiness. Of course, judgment will arise. You will both make mistakes, but just as you would forgive yourself, it’s critical that you develop the ability to communicate first instead of jumping to judgment. A powerful question I share with my clients when they are feeling disappointed with their partner is "WHY do I think that I did that action/said that comment?" By doing this first, it opens up different parts of your brain and you are more easily able to enter into discussion.

2. Actively Look for Ways to Grow the Relationship

The best and most mutually rewarding relationships never stop growing. Both partners continuously look for ways to grow themselves and the relationship as a whole, recognizing when they’ve fallen into routine and committing to approach each experience with a learner mentality. There will always be something new to learn about your self, your partner and your relationship together.

Make the conscious choice to treat every situation as an opportunity to learn something new about your partner and foster a stronger sense of connectedness and understanding. Support each other in following your passions, make time for one another and never stop finding new ways to develop. Remind yourself to stay curious, playful and invested; and encourage your significant other to do the same. Within relationships, you both change over the years and so be open to adaption and shifting with your partner rather than focusing solely on how things once were. 

3. Practice Self-Awareness & Choose to Be in the Relationship

It can be easy to fall into routine and develop a sense of expectation or entitlement when in a long-term relationship. You’ve been together for so long that you’ve come to expect them to be there at the end of the day, to listen to your problems and support you at every turn. However, it’s so important to practice self-awareness and remind yourself that being in a relationship is a conscious choice on the parts of both individuals.

You don’t owe your partner love or support, you choose to love them and support them. They don’t owe you a comforting shoulder or understanding gaze; they choose to offer them to you. Shifting from expectation to awareness and appreciation will have amazing impact on your relationship and your life. Developing the ability to deeply appreciate and acknowledge the words and actions of others will allow you to feel a greater sense of love, happiness and will make you more present when speaking and acting yourself.

4. Sustain Your Self as an Individual & Recognize Your Partner as the Same

As I mentioned, the most rewarding unions happen when two equal and full individuals come together. While you work to foster your relationship, don’t forget to take time and put forth the effort to grow and sustain yourself as a unique, expressive individual. Your passions, present and future goals are just as important now as they were before. Your relationship will only grow stronger the more self-assured and fulfilled you become as an individual. Make this a priority, my friend.

And, in the same vein, remember to recognize your partner as a unique individual as well. He or she must also make the time to grow their passions, focus on their own development and become the best version of themselves that they can be. Support your partner on their journey, but still remain balanced with your own dreams and desires.

5. Do All Things With Love and Focus On Who They Are

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or achievement, or find yourself in an argument about something trivial or otherwise, try your best to approach the situation with love in your heart. Remember that everything you say and do has the power to impact. Your words can build your partner up or tear your partner down, both having lasting effect. Do all things with love – even when it feels challenging. Pause and really consider your words before they exit your mouth. I know, there's the heat of the moment stuff, but at the end of the day everyone (including yourself) is looking to be seen and appreciated for what they have done and contributed to the relationship rather than feeling like the focus is on all the things they haven't. Take time to focus who they are vs. who they aren't.

You, your partner and your union will thank you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?
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4 Ways to Transform Your Relationship Through Mindfulness

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Whether you’re looking for a relationship, just beginning a new relationship or have been with your partner for years, you’ll be amazed by just how much you can totally transform your connection by applying four elements of mindfulness. Mindfulness is just another way of saying you are being more present and aware and mindful of your self, your actions and those of the people around you. Let’s talk about the four ways to transform your relationship with mindfulness that you can also easily apply to your everyday encounters and begin practicing immediately. As with all things, practice makes perfect. And, dear friend, mindfulness is no different. While certain methods might feel a little weird or awkward initially, I urge you to continue. It’s only with dedicated practice that the power of mindfulness is truly unlocked.

1. Mindful Meditation

Before you write off meditation as “too new age” or “a fad,” take a moment to hear me out. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in a circle making “mmm” noises. Don’t get me wrong, group meditation can be a powerful experience, but it’s probably not the easiest idea to wrap your head around if you’re a meditation newcomer. And that’s OK! What I’d like you to do, instead, is to simply find a calm and quiet place in your home to visit once a day. Give yourself 10-20 minutes to sit, rest, clear your head and take deep, steady breaths. Think of it as decompressing the brain - often it will feel that way!

If you’re like me and appreciate a gentle, guiding voice then I’d recommend downloading a meditation app, like Insight Timer or Headspace, to help you get started. There are many meditation apps available that offer a range of guided styles, types of sessions and session lengths.

You can do solo mediation or even invite your partner to join. Either way, you’ll bring the benefits of taking time for yourself, allowing your mind to clear and really hitting that “reset” button to ensure you’re living in the present, into your relationship. Mindful meditation is also an effective way to decompress after the workday, or going into the weekend, allowing you to focus on your relationship, in the now, without negative thoughts or distraction.

2. Mindful Speaking

While mindfulness involves living in the moment, it also involves taking a step back and developing the ability to recognize behaviour in our selves – and to change it. If you’ve ever found yourself blurting out something you wish you hadn’t, or feel as though in the heat of the moment you have “no filter,” you will likely benefit from speaking more mindfully.

As with meditation, mindful speaking requires practice. Starting with your very next conversation, whether it’s a phone call with your mom or a text to your boyfriend, really observe the intent of your words, the language you use and the tone in which you communicate. Seemingly insignificant habits, like beginning sentences with “You always” or “You never” can actually have major impact on how your words are received, interpreted and reacted to. These words will shut down the conversation before it even gets started. The only direction it can head is toward an argument.

Recognizing that each word you use carries power and creates an effect will allow you to begin phasing out words and phrases that lead to negative experiences, as well as become a better communicator with the ability to clearly express yourself in a positive way. We can feel pressure to get our words out but take a breath, review it's potential consequences, and then speak.

3. Deep Active Listening

I’ve spoken before about the importance of active listening, not only in romantic relationships but also in all relationships, and now I’d like to explore how you can take that one step further. Deep active listening is more than showing acknowledgment that you hear and understand someone. It involves practicing great empathy and really allowing yourself to step into the other person’s shoes and try to feel and understand as they do. It’s one thing to hear about your partner’s good or bad day through the lens of your own life, and it’s another – more effective – thing to envision experiencing it as your partner. Picture their day, what has been going on prior to the conversation, step into their shoes.

Remember that, as with all active listening, you are not simply listening to respond. You are listening to truly and authentically understand and appreciate. Doing so will help you develop stronger, deeper relationships and evolve to be a more compassionate, informed human being!

4. Act With Purpose

Last but not least, I want to talk to you about living, and acting, with purpose. So often people find themselves entering “autopilot” mode. It might be on the drive to the office, on the phone with a parent, folding laundry or even during intimacy. Part of being mindful, present and living in the now is doing all things with purpose.

Let’s say that you’re walking to a restaurant for lunch, simultaneously flipping through your news feed or checking emails on your phone. You’re probably walking slower than you would had you put your phone away, and you might even bump into a few people or walk right by your intended destination. This is because, in this moment, you’re not acting with purpose. You’re doing what so many men and women have – believe it or not – learned to do. You’re multi-tasking.

You’re hungry so you’re walking to grab lunch, right? By being on your phone, you’re allowing yourself to be distracted. And, given the nature of social media, it’s fairly likely you’ll come across an article or post that makes you unhappy or stresses you out. So, now you’re not only feeling physical discomfort (hunger) but you’re feeling emotional or mental discomfort, too!

Whenever you have the opportunity, make the conscious effort to singular task. It’ll take practice, yes, but will also feel much more rewarding. Carry this same practice into your relationship. Instead of chatting with your partner about the day while putting away dishes or folding laundry, sit with him and focus on just the conversation. If you’re in the bedroom, really be in the bedroom – try to not allow your mind to wander into what you need to go and do before you go to sleep or where you need to be first thing in the morning. Phones don't belong in the bedroom so leave those tempations plugged in elsewhere in the house! The gift you can give your partner is your undivided attention. That's what you want. That's what they want. So give that to each other.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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5 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Single Day

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In a world filled with increasingly long work hours, constant high stress situations and feelings of disconnection, it’s really no wonder the concept of practicing mindfulness has shed its “new age” skin and become a mainstream phenomenon. The thing about mindful living, however, is that it’s anything but new. If you look at how your parents have lived their lives, or better yet, how your grandparents lived, it’s obvious that society’s loss of mindfulness is quite recent. If you’re seeking a natural, easy-to-follow, rewarding and effective way to combat anxiety and feel more connected to both yourself and the world, read on. This post is all about five things that mindful people do different every single day… and that you should start doing too.

5. Mindful people allow themselves to disconnect from the digital world.

In between texting and blogging and checking emails and surfing the web, all that we see and experience online gets logged in our brains. The amount of time we spend watching TV and online does impact our quality of life, mental health and overall mood. Mindful people know that it’s important to break away from the digital world; to go offline for periods of time.

With this precious offline time, reconnect with an old friend over coffee (and don't document it online, haha!), read a paperback book or take your furry friend for a longer walk then a quick jaunt around the block.

4. Mindful people allow themselves to experience nature.

Nature is a remarkable thing. It has the ability to calm, nurture and re-energize us like very few other things are capable of doing. Mindful people understand the need to reconnect with Mother Nature and often go on morning walks, evening jogs or weekend hikes. Allowing yourself to feel small in comparison to nature’s sprawling wildlife can do wonders to repair your mind, body and soul. Reconsider replacing the treadmill with a park in the warmer months!

3. Mindful people pay attention to, and care about, what they put into their bodies.

Your parents probably told you, at some point or another, “You are what you eat.” Science is proving, more and more, that this statement is truer than we probably thought. Mindful people are conscious of what it is that they eat and how they fuel their bodies. When you fill your body with junk food, for example, you can’t expect to feel a “lasts all day” energy. When you take time to plan meals, incorporate “feel good” foods that are packed with nutrients, however, you can literally feel the difference.

2. Mindful people understand the value of not multi-tasking.

As society pushes people to do more and more for less and less, multi-tasking has become a seemingly holy grail of skills. But, is it really? Studies have proven that those who allow themselves to “unitask” and focus their energy on a single task at once actually get far more complete in a day. Multi-tasking can lead to distraction; poor time management skills and, ultimately, lessened productivity. Though it definitely has it's place, we just need to watch it's not always present.

Instead of focusing on juggling a million things at once, make an effort to boost your time-management and prioritization skills. This will allow you to tackle tasks in order of their importance and get more done, rather than juggle double the tasks for twice as long.

1. Mindful people allow themselves to feel their feelings before reacting.

Our world is full of distractions. It’s like the saying goes, “If you want something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” It’s not difficult to find a distraction when you feel sad, angry, lonely or anxious. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to avoid a particular thought or stop yourself from experiencing a certain emotion. But, mindful people don’t do that. Instead, they allow themselves to truly feel their feelings.

If you don’t allow yourself to experience your anger, upset or confusion you won’t enjoy happiness near as much as is possible. You also won’t push yourself to solve the problem that’s causing you to have the negative feelings. You need to acknowledge and feel your feelings before you can properly react.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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