Monthly Archives: January 2012

Who Am I and What Are Some Tools & Resources to Help Me on My Path of Discovery?

Dear JoyDiva,

I often find myself slightly uncomfortable when people ask me, “so, who are you?” or “what is it that drives you?”. I struggle to answer such questions, particularly when put on the spot. I can think of traits that describe me and what I value, and come up with things I enjoy doing, yet I haven’t learned how to answer the question of “who am I?”. First of all, what exactly does that even mean? How deep do I have to dig to discover who I really am and is that the same thing as my true self? Second, I am aware that we all change and grow during the span of our lives. When we grow and change, does that also change who we are or does it only alter the surface of our identity, such as how we view ourselves, others, and the world we occupy? Perhaps neither.

I am on a journey of finding out who I really am. I’ve felt stuck in that process for a long time and am looking for tools, input, guidance, etc. on how to find what I am seeking. I have a strong feeling that the answers are already inside of me, and that I just need help finding them.

Seeking self-discovery

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Dear Seeking self-discovery,

There is a lot of juicy stuff in what you are saying! First of all–YES! The answers are most certainly already inside of you, and you are far from alone in needing help to unveil them. There are a lot of us who go about our lives struggling to find who we are, and all we need is to ask someone to help us by holding up the mirror, so to speak. Our own minds can get us quite muddled, and sometimes we need the support of someone objective and intuitive to help us see what is true for us.

Without getting too salesy on you, :), everything you are sharing here leads me to believe that you are in a beautiful place to receive some coaching–we coaches are trained to ask you powerful questions to help you tap into your own truth, guide you on your path of self-discovery, and help you “un-stick” yourself while lovingly holding you accountable. I personally take that a step further in my work by looking at your birth chart, which is a unique “fingerprint” telling me about your hidden strengths, ways that you can get yourself stuck and the unique gifts that you are here to share with the world. I partner that with a powerful visualization/discovery process that gets us in touch with your essence–and what you need in order to feel fully alive and fulfilled. Feel free to email me or respond to this post for more info–I’d be happy to schedule a phone consult to explore that with you in more detail. You can also view the astrology coaching page and watch a short video on my website to learn more.

Some of your questions really require an actual dialogue between us because the answers are going to be quite personal for you. One thing that I can say clearly here is that the moment you were born, you started living out your purpose in this world–there is nothing that you need to do or be in order to live out that purpose other than who you already are, right now. Is there an aspect of us that endures no matter what is occurring in our lives and the world around us? I believe that there is–call it our consciousness, soul, spirit, source, essence. It is the part of us that knows what is true in each moment.

When it comes to fully knowing yourself and experiencing the joy that comes from tapping into your unique essence, one great place to start is to tune into your inner, “yes’s” and “no’s.” What is it that makes your heart sing? Makes you feel free and excited? Grateful to be alive? Conversely, what is it that makes you feel stuck, limited, and drained? The more that you feed those “yes’s,” those life-affirming experiences, you will find that you are living a fully expressed, and authentic life. “Who you are” is not a logical awareness, it is a matter of tuning into your feelings, your heart and that which makes you come alive.

Another way to tap into your essence is through meditation–this could be a stillness practice, walks in nature, dancing, singing, yoga–anything that quiets your mind and drops you into your body and sense of beingness. It is in the spaces between doing, when we create time to observe life and ourselves that we discover our connection to all that is and that which always endures. Creating a regular journaling practice is also a wonderful way to slow down and tune into your “truths” and discover all kinds of yummy things about yourself. (Daily journaling has been HUGELY supportive, enlightening and transformative for me on my path, and regularly helps me clarify the “yes” choices that I can make for myself along the way.)

When it comes to having the “right” answer for people when they ask who you are or what drives you–what is your heart telling you in those moments? It’s fully ok to be on a path of discovery and to not fully know those answers, and it’s fully ok to express that. The REAL you lives where your honesty lives. The more honest that you are about your thoughts and feelings, even your uncertainties, the more YOU you will feel, and the more love you will feel for yourself and be able to receive from others. Just remember that you are truly magnificent, whether you are fully feeling that at the moment or not. We all are.

Here are some books and teachers that I’ve enjoyed on my own path of self-discovery:

The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark, By Sera Beak

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

Prosperity Pie by SARK

Loving What is by Byron Katie

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The teachings of Adyashanti

I wish you much love and many blessings on your journey! Feel free to use my contact form above to schedule a free consult or ask any more questions.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

How Do I Stop Comparing Myself to Other People?

Dear JoyDiva,

I’ve been trying to think lately how to stop comparing myself with other people. Its a pretty basic question, but at the same time its what has been ingrained in me for years- I was anorexic in the past, and that’s just the lens through which I saw my life. If I wasn’t better than someone (especially thinner), I was a failure. Now the weight is back, but the problem still tortures me at times. How do I stop comparing myself to others without completely over-inflating my self esteem? I don’t want to get to the place where I just assume I’m better than others to feel good about myself, or where I stop trying all together. I want to walk into a room, know I’m not the prettiest, smartest, “best” person there, and remain strong enough in who I am and who I’m not to be happy with the woman God made me to be. So yes, that would definitely be something I could use outside wisdom on!

Thanks for your help,

Confused

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Dear Confused,

I write this response from both a personal and a professional place–I can say that you are not alone in this because I witness it on various levels in nearly everyone that I encounter as well as within myself. I also want to acknowledge you for the tremendous courage it takes to consciously overcome an eating disorder, and I hear that you bring great insight, compassion and self-awareness into this inquiry.

The ego part of ourselves, that part of us that seeks to “protect us” and “get us love” while thriving on our fear and sense of worthlessness is always what is active in situations of comparison. The ego part of us believes that we are all separate and that the only way to get love, to even be worthy of love in the first place, is to somehow be better, perfect, more flawless than everyone else. The more that we listen to that voice, the sooner we can find ourselves on a hamster wheel of self-destruction, never actually receiving the love that we so long for.

The way to begin breaking down those false barriers between you and others comes in doing the opposite of what your ego is telling you to do–you cannot choose your thoughts, but you can choose which ones that you believe and act on. So, you walk into a room and see a beautiful girl–your ego says, “The only way you can get love is to be the best, and she is clearly better than you.” Chances are when that happens that “pretty girl” is the last person that you really want to talk to, to understand, and/or be vulnerable with and it’s hard to imagine that she can relate to what you’re experiencing in her presence. In these moments, one of the best ways to break up the energy of comparison & to get to what is truly real, is to reach out in a spirit of friendship. Your ego wants to isolate, and your consciousness knows we are all connected–as you put it, all made by God, and in that way, all “of the same.” When you can reach out from a place of honesty and openness to those people who threaten you as well as those who your ego wants to make “less than,” you begin to discover the humanity that we all share, remind yourself of your compassionate nature, and discover how truly acceptable and worthy that you are. Love and kindness always break through the illusion of separation and remind us of our inherent magnificence. When your mind wants to go toward comparison, I invite you to seek the common ground–given that we are all human, chances are darn good that every person you’ve compared yourself with through the years has felt pain and is carrying his/her own wound, too. Woundedness and humanity is just sort of a package deal. Healing and humanity are a package deal, too–the more you share what is real about you and make room to seek and understand what is real within others, you’ll create beautiful opportunities to heal your and others’ hidden wounds.

My other invitation for you is to be kind with yourself when this happens–your thoughts do not make you a bad person. They simply make you…a person. You mentioned not wanting to build yourself up so that you see yourself as superior, which is an important insight, and like I mention above, would only feed your ego self and take away from your sense of well-being. With that said, I do want to encourage you to sit down from time to time and make a list of all that you love about yourself–not what makes you better than others, but rather what YOU and YOU ALONE love about who you are. Living from a place of openness and compassion means that you celebrate ALL of humanity, including yourself. You ARE a unique being–no one else on the planet is exactly like you. Each and every one of us is unique and has our own role to play. The more you remind yourself and celebrate your own uniqueness–regardless of whether or not you have others’ approval, the more you build up a well-spring of compassion in your own heart that will overflow to others.

As I write this I’m reminded of an anecdote from a client who was at one time struggling with a desire to be “special” or “greater than.” She went through an exercise that really shifted her understanding of her own unique “specialness.” At a spiritual retreat, she was led through a guided meditation in which she had to envision herself somewhere in nature. Her mind floated to an image of a giant redwood forest. The instructor then asked each participant to find what represents them in that place. My client’s ego voice immediately exclaimed in her mind, “I’m the giant redwood tree!” and yet following that exclamation, she heard a quieter voice that said, “No. You’re the soil.” Her ego voice responded, “Soil? Why would I want to be soil? What’s so great about soil?!” The quieter voice said, “The soil NURTURES the giant redwood trees.” And so she realized, she was indeed the soil. Understanding this has allowed her to own this gift and be the behind-the-scenes nurturer that truly brings her and those in relationship with her the most fulfillment.

It’s easy to see our talents and strengths as though they are “dirt” compared to other people’s, but as it turns out, we all have a unique role to play in this vast and beautiful universe in which we live. Keep opening up and sharing who you are. Keep befriending those that threaten you in one way or another. Keep exploring the uniqueness that exists within you and all who cross your path.

Thank you again for your honest sharing of yourself and for your wonderful insight–Your thoughtfulness is truly a gift.

With Much Love,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

What is the Source of My Jealousy & How Do I Make it Go Away?

Dearest Melissa,

For the past four months you’ve coached me through one of the most volatile periods of my life. Guided by your wisdom I’ve grown into a joyful woman filled with immeasurable energy and self-love. Discovering and solidifying my values has been magical and empowering, and my relationships—especially the all-important one with myself—are flourishing. What I’m trying to say is… Thank you! It’s been several weeks since we last connected, and I’ve discovered a very important and deeply-rooted issue that I’d like to explore with you. That issue is Jealousy.

Jealousy has been a persistent shadow in my life for as long as I can remember. Without the right tools to coax it out of my garden, I’ve had no choice but to watch it linger and sometimes flourish amongst the lovely things that I purposefully nurture. Jealousy has taken many forms throughout my life but most recently has manifested itself in a new relationship with a young man I’ll call “Roman.” We met on a road-trip and spent the following week of winter break in almost constant contact. I quickly became smitten with him. Naturally (for me), whenever he showed affection toward our female peers, I became green around the gills. This blood-boiling possessiveness is a loathsome feeling to hold in the body, and I often became upset with myself for not being able to control it.

Immediately after parting ways with Roman I happened upon a book by Susan Page titled “The 8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive.” On the whole, I think the book is fabulous, but one section that particularly struck me was that on intimacy. Page asserts that one cannot give OR love themselves fully if they don’t know themselves fully. She says that the “inner self” is where we harbor our most private pleasures, dreams and insecurities. The deep, hidden realm where our wounds, self-doubt and fears live is called the “snake pit.” According to Page, the snake pit is something that we all must accept and face without fear if we are to love ourselves completely. I’m inclined to agree with Page, and am willing (if not eager) to being charming my jealous snakes, for if I don’t know them, I can’t love them.

Thankfully I am not wont to envy other’s looks, possessions, or status, but this issue is nonetheless quite serious. Melissa, what questions would you ask me to help discover the roots of my jealousy and start to slowly ease them out? What do you do when you feel jealous? Do you think it can ever be completely eradicated? If I am to have an intimate relationship with Roman I wish to harbor no jealous feelings, and I know it would make me a more joyful person overall if I could let go of the general jealousy I sense when others become close to my best friend. As always, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Love,
It’s not easy being green

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Dear, “It’s not easy…”

Ah yes, the green-eyed monster. You feel it. I feel it. We’ve all felt it…and hated it, and felt terrible for feeling it. After going through an intense experience myself this past fall that brought up some major jealousy, I decided that it is one of the worst combinations of human emotions that one could experience. If you want to know a bit about some of that journey you can read about it here.

Jealousy happens because we experience a perceived threat to something we 1) believe we need, and 2) is outside of us, and 3) therefore, out of our control. Do I think it’s possible for us to fully eradicate jealousy? Yes, I do–jealousy and any other emotions that cause us pain come in response to attaching to thoughts that are untrue. With that said, be gentle with yourself and let your jealousy teach you rather than trying to resist it. In this case, as you found yourself falling for Roman (fun name, btw…:), it was these other ladies who shed a wonderful light on your own “snake pit” and suddenly there was the belief followed by the feeling that you have something to lose.

But answer me this: What do you REALLY have to lose? First of all, you’ve only just met Roman, and while I’m gathering that you’ve been mutually enjoying one another, you have only caught a glimpse of the surface of each other. Have fun with that, and know that it is YOU that you “lose” when you slip into the idea of “we” so quickly. This is what your jealously has so lovingly come to show you. You feel loathsome and out of control because you’re putting your focus in the direction of things that you will never be able to control. How does Roman feel about you? How does he feel about your female peers? Does he choose YOU? Can you trust him? Can you trust those girls not to take him away? Are you enough for him? These endless questions that start to float about amidst jealousy are none of your business–you will never be able perceive or affect the answers to these questions.

Here is what IS in your control: What does in mean for you to trust YOURSELF? What does it mean for you to be fully available to yourself, to never leave you, to make YOU feel cherished? What does it it mean for you to fully accept and approve of YOURSELF? These are all things that you can take care of yourself. THIS is your business, to choose yourself. In what ways were you beginning to compromise yourself in the context of this relationship? You will understand the wisdom of your jealousy by focusing in there.

When the jealousy comes on, allow yourself to take some space and fully feel it. It’s a great time to take a step back, take the focus away from relationships and remind yourself of all of the other kickass stuff you have going on in your life. You’re asking great questions and tapping into some great internal wisdom! Be gentle with yourself and know that you are growing in leaps and bounds. I’m honored to be a part of that. 🙂

As a final aside, as you continue to grow in your capacity to approve of and choose yourself first, you may find that you simply do not want to spend time with guys that freely share affection with other women–that’s ok to own. That doesn’t make those men WRONG, it just simply means that you prefer something else. It’s your party. You’ve already got the love. No need to contort yourself into uncomfortable positions for someone who approaches relationships differently.

Much Love,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

Why Is It So Hard for Me to Accept That My Boyfriend Loves Me?

Dear JoyDiva,

Why is it so hard for me to accept that my boyfriend loves me? I have met the perfect man. He is kind, smart, sexy, loving, funny and generous. He tells me that he loves me, that I’m beautiful and that I make him smile every day. My problem is that I don’t believe him. There’s absolutely nothing that he has done to make me feel that his love is not true. Why can’t I accept that he loves me? Why do I have to question it? Why can’t I be comfortable knowing that he loves me? Of course, that leads me to me next dilemma. When is he going to stop loving me? I have a feeling it may be when I begin to annoy him with all these insecurities! Thanks for your help.

Julie

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Dearest Julie,

I’m so happy to hear that you have found someone who is so good at loving you up–it sounds like he is a wonderful mirror for you right now of your own kind, smart, sexy, loving, funny, and generous self. You, of course, wouldn’t appreciate these qualities about HIM so much if they weren’t values living inside of you, as well. He is no more or less perfect that you are, my dear.

His love is also a wonderful mirror for you to take a look at the beliefs you have about yourself that are keeping you from experiencing the love that you long for. You are right, Dear Heart in recognizing that it’s nothing to do with him and everything to do with your thoughts. I want to turn your question around on you and have you think on this for a moment–When he tells you he loves you and whispers all of the sweet nothings that you’ve longed to hear, what are the thoughts that come up that keep you from accepting it? Somewhere underneath there I would imagine are some thoughts along the lines of: you need his love in order to be happy, that you can’t trust love to be there–that you cannot trust him, or anyone for that matter, and that oh yes, you might not actually be worthy of receiving the love that you believe you need so much in the first place. What did you DO to make him love you so much, and uh oh, what are you going to DO to screw it up? How could you, all by yourself, without doing anything other than being you, possibly be worthy of such kindness? I realize that it can hurt to own some of these thoughts, but the more honest you can be with these thoughts, the more healing…and love can start to flow in their place.

The truth is that love has nothing to do with what we do or how worthy we are or not–and it never comes from “that person” or “out there.” Right now, the idea of losing his love feels so scary because your mind has pulled you away from one very essential truth: You source your own love. You feel afraid of losing his love because you are putting all of your love-generating capacity outside of yourself and onto him. When we fall in love, we aren’t just falling in love with the other person, we are falling in love with who we are in the other person’s eyes. We are falling in love with our own reflection. Of course that feels good! The cool thing is that underneath all of these thoughts that make you feel badly about yourself, you have the full capacity to simply look within and decide to fall in love–other people are just icing on that cake. I want you to look at the following thoughts and list at least 3 ways that they are true with regard to this relationship and beyond:

“I need MY love.”
“I do not trust MYSELF.”
“I could leave MYSELF.”

Your trust for him and your ability to receive his love will grow in relationship to your ability to trust and love yourself. Look at all of the wonderful juiciness in your life that you are creating ALL BY YOURSELF. In what ways do you step away from yourself and all of the juiciness in your life when you start believing that he might leave and that you can’t live without his love? Those are moments to come back to yourself, to spend some really juicy YOU time, to remind yourself that YOU will never leave you, that you will always be there to provide all that you need. In what ways can you become the most loving and reliable lover that you can ever possibly imagine…to yourself? I want to share a poem with you that I think is good medicine for you, right now. It is called “I Don’t Trust You” and was written by a lovely woman named Natalie Chalmers.

I don’t trust you.
I relieve you of all burden to meet my expectations.
To be anyone I need you to be in order to feel safe.
I don’t trust you and I don’t expect you to trust me.
I relieve myself of all burden to be who you think I am.

And I open my heart as wide as I feel I can.
And that part of me still behind the curtain of
old paradigm beliefs and thoughts
looks to see if you have too.

And I feel happy when I think you have.
And sad when I think you haven’t.
And I tremble with anxiety when I think I have and you haven’t.

And then I remember.
I don’t trust you.
I don’t need to trust you.
My heart is not a fragile thing made of glass.
It is strong beyond all knowing.
It can open wide enough for the whole world to flow through it.
And it takes nothing from me, even when I give it all.

Because Love flows through my heart.
A stream of energy that I can’t keep.
Can’t hold tight onto it.
It moves
Emotion.
Energy in motion.

And every break it has ever had
has only been there to tear it wider.
To open it more.
To expand it so that even more Love can flow through it.

I don’t trust you.
I relieve you of the burden to approve of me,
because I am already Accepted.
I relieve you of the burden to love me,
because I am already Loved.
But I invite you in to share my love.
Share in my sharing.
To play with this flow that bounces between people
As they wax and wane in connection.

I don’t trust you and you needn’t trust me.
Only share what is True for you
And I will do the same.

I don’t trust you.
But I trust myself wholly
to be able to handle anything that
Life can ever bring to me.

Anything.
Through anyone.

Even you.

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Be patient with this process–you deserve the utmost gentleness from yourself as you slowly release your grip around these thoughts that have caused you such fear and pain. I celebrate you as you open yourself bit by bit to discover how infinite that love truly is.

My love to you and that sweet man in your life,

:)Melissa A.K.A the JoyDiva

P.S. Visit my website, www.melissasimonson.com, to schedule a complimentary connection call. I would be honored to connect with you and explore what would open up for you and your life through a session together. xo

©2012 Melissa Simonson

How Do I Know When I’ve Found the Right Guy?

Dear Melissa,

I have been through my fair share of unhealthy relationships in the past. I have spent the last few years healing and doing some really excellent self-care which I have really enjoyed. Now that I have been feeling like I am ready for a relationship of substance and mutual honor and respect, I still find myself drawn to guys who are emotionally unavailable. I find myself developing crushes on guys who are already deeply involved in their own romantic relationships, or guys that I really don’t know very well. I have had some guy friends of mine who have been very kind, and warm hearted who have shown an interest in me and I have run for the hills. I think part of me has been unnerved by the earnest attention, scared of compromising the friendship, and also hearing that perfectionist inside me that says “Oh, you can find someone better.” While I am coming to know that there is a really great guy out there for me, I want to be sure that I know how to recognize him when I meet him and not get so caught up in someone unavailable that I miss him.

Any words of advice?

Seeking Something Real

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Dear “Seeking Something Real,”

I want to honor you for all of your excellent self-care. That is wonderful and I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed yourself!

First off, I want to invite you to explore a question: What is it that you get out of your crushes on unavailable men? Explore how it makes you feel when you get their attention, when you talk to them, when you experience them enjoying your attention. At some point along the way to crushville, you start putting love outside of yourself, and you are putting these other guys on pedestals along with that love, which even if you’ve been rocking out with your bad self up until that point, very quickly puts you on a lower, lesser tier. From that vantage point as you look up at these shiny, unavailable men, you find yourself thinking how cool it would be if they would extend their love down to you. If they thought you were awesome, given how awesome that they are in your mind, what would that say about you? (I don’t know many women who haven’t gone to this place at one point or another on the path to love.) I can feel your strength and sense of self in all that you say above, and I can also feel the part of you that harbors a desire for approval in your romantic relationships.

Who do you become and how do you feel when you are secretly wanting these other guys to be in love with you? Who would you be, how would you act around them if you did not believe on some level that you need their approval? In what ways are you needing to give yourself approval?

With regard to your male friends developing crushes on you and your “running for the hills”–you are not messed up. Just because a guy is kind and warm-hearted doesn’t make him the right guy for YOU. You are not striking me as someone who believes herself undeserving of love. (If you do, let me know, and we can address that.) You strike me as someone who just wants to feel passion in her relationships and it happens to be that those particular men that you mention, despite their warmth and kindness, have not ignited that passion within you. What has your heart been telling you? Passion isn’t something that you have to talk yourself into–it will let you know when it peaks its fiery head. When it’s truly a right fit, or even just right for now, you won’t want to run for the hills…unless he’s coming with you. 🙂

Dive in! Get messy–it’s okay to want it all, my dear, and it’s ok to experiment until you find it. You are not asking too much to want kindness, emotional availability and a whole lot of other sexy stuff thrown in for extra fun. The only perfectionism I see here is toward yourself–it’s ok that you haven’t “gotten it right” yet. Things are complicated enough without adding the pressure of “this better be the right one” into the mix. Relationships are the playground for all of the juicy learning we’re here to do in our lives–just think of all of the fun you’d be missing out on if you “got it right” already?! 😉 Keep practicing that good self-care. Explore the ways that you are still seeking approval in your relationships and how you can give that approval to yourself, get a little bit messy, and above all, trust yourself. You’ve got this thing down girl–it’s only a matter of time.

Much love,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

The Law of Attraction, Journal Exercises, and Being a Good Mama…All in One! :)

Hi Melissa,

I have a question. Have you read a book The Secret? Also, I have a friend who went through 50 days exercise where one person was leading it and was giving different tasks to write about each day, through each of these exercises my friend learned more and more about herself and how to make dreams come true. Have you heard of such a thing? It is like you would give me something to imagine and describe a situation one day and I will need to explain how I felt about it and the next day you would build on this and give me another task to imagine and dream about. I am not sure if I am explaining this correctly. Please let me know if you didn’t get my point. In short, I would like to have some tools to learn how to dream so the dreams would come true. Of course, I would like to learn how to build self-confidence and eliminate self-doubt and how to just live and enjoy life. Also, I have 16 month old daughter where I would like to be a good influence for her and the last thing I want for her is to follow my steps of self doubt. I also strongly believe in astrology. Are you still doing in-home astrology parties? There are a lot of questions on my mind but hopefully this is a good start. This is great idea you came up with. I am hoping to learn a lot from talking with you this way.

Olya

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Hi Olya,

Thank you for your questions.

Yes, I am very familiar with The Secret–there was also a movie that came out in 2006 that is great inspiration for manifesting what you want in your life. (http://thesecret.tv/thesecretfilm/) The Law of Attraction is a corner stone of my work with clients. While The Secret is a wonderful doorway to understanding the ways that the Law of Attraction works, I find that it can lead some people astray at times. The Law of Attraction is not meant to help people control outcomes in their lives and it is not just about “positive” thinking. It is meant to help us become magnets for goodness. The best way to become a magnet for goodness in your life is to surround yourself with people and circumstances that make you feel good–What kinds of activities, people and places make you feel alive, free, at peace with yourself, etc? (Remember also that sometimes even having a good cry is exactly what we need to come into joy). When you feel joy, peace, acceptance, love, you’re on track, and the more that you vibrate those good feelings, the more goodness you will draw to yourself. A great place to start calling in joy is in seeking out all that you appreciate about yourself and your life, right now, as it is.

Here are some good Law of Attraction Resources for you: Abraham Hicks is where much of the information in The Secret came from, and they have tons of resources for you to become a manifesting diva. 🙂 Their website is: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php
I love getting these daily “Notes from the Universe” to keep me on track with my visualizing and to remind me of life’s goodness: http://www.tut.com/resources/notes/
A great Law of Attraction expert and all-around wonderful guy is Andy Dooley, who has all kinds of inspiring videos & info. that you can access here: http://andydooley.com/

Regarding your second question about the guided journaling exercise: It sounds like you are much like me and a lot of people in that it helps you to have some support and structure in your life to help you grow and expand. The exercise that you mentioned is much like what it is like to work with a Life Coach. It is my job to ask you powerful questions to help you tap into what is true for you and provide support and accountability while you take steps in alignment with your joy. You are welcome to contact me to schedule a consult where we can talk more fully about how I can serve you in those ways. In the meantime, my “Self-Love SuperStar Mini-Playbook” is a great journaling tool that you can use again and again to help you create fulfillment in your life much like you are describing. My former clients have said that they can hear my voice leading them through the exercises :)–it very closely matches an exercise I would take you through as your coach and gives you a great example of what it might be like to work with me. You can claim your free Self-Love SuperStar Kit Here and play and expand to your heart’s delight: http://www.joydiva.com.

Regarding your desire to eliminate self-doubt and be a powerful example for your daughter: Again, coaching would be AMAZING for you–eliminating self-doubt and building confidence takes focused time with a lot of tender love and care. With that said, please know that the fact that you wake up everyday longing to be good and do good in the world IS what makes you good. There is nothing that you have to do or be that could make you any more magnificent than you already are. Your daughter is blessed to have a mama who is conscious enough to want her to grow up in a loving and confidence-building environment. Keep reaching out. Keep learning to love yourself and grow as you are, and she will have a wonderful example to help her thrive. Be patient with yourself, dear heart. You are doing wonderful things!

Regarding Astrology Parties: Yes, I still do in-home Astrology Parties for up to 8 guests. Each reading is $1.50/minute with a 15 minute minimum/person.

Alright Lovely, it would appear that I’ve answered all of your questions. I wish you only the best.

Much Love,

Melissa, A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

I Cannot Seem to Achieve Lasting Relationships: What’s Wrong With Me?

Hi JoyDiva,

I feel like I am broken beyond repair. I ended a 3 1/2 year relationship well over three years ago due to his infidelity. I was married and that ended in divorce over his drug use. I have tried dating sites etc and always end up disillusioned by men or people in general. Help me. I am coming to the conclusion that it has to be me. I am going through a program through my job to talk to a therapist but truly feel that something is wrong within me and I do not know how to fix me. I am figuring out that I am alone for a reason/s but cannot figure out why.
I think men can take a look at me and see the huge BROKEN sign flashing over my head and run away as fast as they can. I feel I am a great catch. I work, can cook great meals, am sharp and intelligent. Not a barbie doll but unique in my own way. Help me. I need to figure it out so that I can breath and finally be at peace. Once I get there I might be able to see things and allow love or whatever to come back into my life. How can it be that I want something so badly and know I have so much to give but cannot seem to achieve lasting relationships.

I appreciate your help or guidance,

Love,
The Hermit

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Dearest Hermit,

First of all, I want to thank you for your heartfelt honesty–there will be many who thank you for reaching out and sharing in this way. I can feel the pain in your words, and I am so sorry to hear that you have been in such a place of suffering.

You have said, “I am coming to the conclusion that it has to be me.” In a certain respect, you are right about this, but NOT in the way that you think. There is nothing wrong with you. You do not need to be “fixed.” It is this belief that you are carrying, that you are somehow damaged goods beyond repair, that is causing you so much suffering within yourself and then in your relationships.

All relationships in our lives are mirrors for the relationship that we are having with ourselves–when all other people fall away, you are still left with the company of your thoughts and how you choose to respond to those thoughts. Do you like the way you are treating yourself? Do you like the company that you keep in the quiet moments? Every person who comes into your life and makes you feel unwanted, invalidated, ignored, unworthy of love, etc. is a mirror for how you have been treating yourself. If you are beating yourself up, telling yourself that you are broken, believing that you have to be something else in order to be worthy and that it is only love from another that will make you whole, you will continue to attract people who mirror this abuse you are handing to yourself. They do see a broken sign, but that’s because you are entering relationships believing that it is the other person’s job to fix you with his love. As long as you believe that you need a partner, that you need his love, that someone else will make you whole, you will end up disillusioned.

Life is giving you an opportunity to fall in love with YOURSELF. You are so much more than just a woman who can hold down a job and cook a good dinner. You are so much more than even sharp and intelligent. So. Much. More. AND, you are the source of your own love. No one else can give it to you. You have been believing so long that you need love and approval to come from other people–I can feel your deep longing to have someone say to you: “You are beautiful and I love you exactly the way that you are.” Give this gift to yourself. You are the only one who has been keeping yourself from that wonderful gift. In what ways is it true that you do NOT need love from another person? It what ways is it true that YOU need to love yourself?

If you want to date someone who makes you feel cherished and wanted and desired, you have to start cherishing yourself. The first step is to stop beating yourself up every time a relationship doesn’t work out–they fail because they aren’t right, not because there is something wrong with you. Thank goodness those relationships didn’t work because you deserve so much more! Every time you think that you could have or should have done things differently, you just hurt yourself. I will say it again and again. There is nothing wrong with you, and believing that there is f-in hurts, doesn’t it? Let’s start filling you up with some loving thoughts and activities. Your assignment:

1) Make a list of the ways that a partner could make you feel cherished. (for example, He would listen to me intently, tell me that he loves me, call me often, be honest with me and value my honesty, make me feel like I’m the most important person to him, snuggle and watch t.v., etc…whatever feels good to you, have fun with it.)

2) Take that list of activities that make you feel cherished and turn them around. (For example, if listening to you is on your list, in what ways can you listen to yourself more? In what ways can you be more honest with yourself? In what ways can you treat yourself as though YOU are the most important person to you?) It’s time to start “courting” yourself and treating yourself like the goddess you know that you are deep down.

3) Make a list…a looooooonnnnng list, about all that makes you Miss Fabulous. (for example, quirky, funny, genuine, sensual, loyal, compassionate, etc.) Time yourself to do this for at least five minutes and have fun with how yummy it feels to give yourself this well-deserved acknowledgment.

4) Last and far from least, I want to recommend a very important teacher for you who has a series of books and audio that will change your life if you let it. I want you to watch this video of her working with a woman who also believes there is “something wrong with her” and see what comes up for you as you do. (It made me tear up at times watching her remember her love for herself.)

I highly recommend this book or audiobook for you: I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead

Book format
Audiobook format

Working with your thoughts and falling in love with yourself is going to take time, Dear One. I am glad that you are exploring therapy, and I want you to know that I would be honored to work with you as well–I can walk you through some powerful exercises like what you witnessed in the video to get you seeing what is REALLY true and how lovable that you really are, and then lovingly hold you accountable as you take this positive action in your life. You are not a lost cause–you’ve just been believing some painful, untrue things about yourself for a long time.

Much Love,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson