Monthly Archives: March 2016

Romping Into Relationships and the Power of Play

~reprinted from The Huffington Post


I’m from California, and when I think of romance, in my mind, I see dolphins leaping in tandem across our beautiful Pacific Ocean. There is a playfulness in their togetherness, a synchronicity of movement, a deft understanding of each other, and perfect timing. It’s like watching a ballet!

A relationship is like that. It’s all about trust and timing. A sense of play in your relationship can lighten the heavier moments. By cultivating a sense of playfulness in a relationship you will discover the hidden treasures in your partner. We learn each other’s hard edges and soft spots. We become aware of each other’s boundaries and each other’s boundlessness. In this way, we learn to feel the subtleties and the nuances of each other. This forms a real bond of trust and intimacy that can lead to a more gentle and respectful consideration of each other.

My parents have been happily married for almost 60 years now. They also run their international music business together, (and still do!) They are literally together 24/7. Some of my clearest memories of them — then and now — are of my mother making funny faces until my father cries laughing. We all laugh — but especially him. They have that thing! They play.

A sense of play can make fun and light out of the heavier moments of life, and it is critical for recovery in arguments. Playing with each other, and the willingness to takes ourselves, and each other, lightly is part of the formula for a long-lasting love.

In a relationship, we can get way too serious. We can miss the little cues that would avoid an argument. And so many of those moments are non-verbal. They are conveyed by body language, tone of voice and subtle nuance. A shrug of the shoulder, a roll of the eyes, are examples of different information-packed secret codes of non-verbal communication. It’s another kind of emotional intelligence that adds depth to a relationship that becomes extremely important when “it’s time to go” when we’re at a party. A little head nod that says, I’m having a great time, or the opposite, let’s get out of here, can be completely and immediately understood because of a hundred intimate moments we have experienced together. We learn to read each other.

Playfulness is a form of vulnerability. Think of two puppies romping around, taking turns being rolled over. They are learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If the play gets too rough, the pup will make a yip, and all the action stops for a moment. They learn a boundary. That’s too much. Don’t bite so hard. They are learning. They are not meaning to hurt each other. They are playing on the edge of vulnerability.

Playing is a practice of trust like the game of falling backwards into your partner’s arms. You have to trust that they will catch you. This is how we learn each other. And this is the power of play. We are willing to share our weaknesses with each other for the purposes of not hurting each other, but to better support each other.

A little bit of ribbing will stretch us out of our comfort zones, and let us explore in a loving, lighthearted way, those touchy subjects of our lives. This playfulness creates a deep bonding.

Playing with your partner says, I love you, I trust you. It says, I can show you my deepest secrets and I know you won’t hurt me. And I won’t hurt you either.

If your partner can make you laugh, and hopefully, especially at yourself, an ever-deepening intimacy is fostered. Little private jokes, like a nudge under the table, a wink across the room, all produce a complex, secret love language that only the two of you know.

Finally, it’s all about feeling safe. Teasing, kidding and all the forms of play need to be founded in kindness. This is important, because we all know how piercing a pointed-but-accurate critical comment can be. They can wound us deeply. When we lovingly play with each other we are learning each other’s parameters of safety. In this established safe space we can be kidded, teased and challenged. Playfulness is a way to discover the edges of our safety zones while getting to know each other more and more. Furthermore, play can allow for uncomfortable subjects to be brought up like who we are voting for, or whose family to spend Thanksgiving with. When there is playfulness between you, there can be an easy forgiveness. There is a natural safety net of love and understanding being constantly reinforced by all of this interplay.

Remember, where there is humor, there is perspective. Where there is perspective, there is understanding. And where there is understanding, there can be forgiveness.

So play away! Learn each other’s foibles, eccentricities, and idiosyncrasies. Discover each other’s worlds. Let yourself play — like dolphins! There is a synchronicity to play, a timing, a rhythm and dance that is completely considerate and respectful of your partner, because we are always looking out for what is best for them!

When things feel very heavy or blocked, be like my mom and make a funny face. The whole mood of a situation can change by an unexpected English accent, or a mysterious glint in your eye. Giggling in bed, making a face across a room at an important event — that only he knows what it means — are all ways of building intimacy together. Tickling, kidding, poking and prodding all become a part of a growing arsenal of loving play at your disposal. All of which can potentially lead to belly laughs – or at least a snicker or two – and a deeper and growing trust between you.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of

Full Moon Meditation at the Equinox

And I did get a couple of texts!

By Light I am guided.  By Love I am impulsed.

“HOW WILL I KNOW (if he really loves me?)”

(as sung by Whitney Houston)

–reprinted from The Huffington Post

A couple in love in the sunset on the beach

How do you know if he is into you?

And how into you is he?

Should you ask him straight up? Should you guess? Get a tarot card reading?

I would answer: If you don’t know where you stand in your relationship, then that is probably not a good sign.

When a man is into you – if you are “the one” – you will know.

This means that if you are not sure what your status is with him, then likely it is not too solid. And if you’ve been wondering after weeks and weeks, and maybe, months and months . . . even more so!

Basically what I am saying is, if you are wondering where you stand with your man, then your very unsureness is part of your answer.

A man will turn the world upside down to be with you if you are the one for him. He will cross the country, miss the big game, and throw his coat over a puddle for you to walk over.

You will see it in his eyes, you will hear it in his tone of voice, you will feel it in the touch of his hand, but most importantly, you will experience it by his actions. His feelings for you will be whispered into the background of every moment. If that’s not happening, retain that as data. As hard as that may be to contemplate, you need to consider it.

For a relationship to be strong, it needs to be authentic: not manufactured by a fantasy, or a wish, or an artificial timeline, but based on a truly genuine and real connection between the two of you.

Remember these 3 things as you navigate a new relationship.

  1. BE YOURSELF. Don’t compromise this. Be you. Who he is falling in love with is And if you are being anything less than you, it will come out sooner or later. So, be yourself right from the start. Let him see your true self: your vulnerability and your strength, your power and your fragility. The real you is beautiful and just right for the right person.
  1. BE PATIENT. He needs to realize for himself what he feels. Let him recognize his feelings for you in his own timing and his own way. Don’t try to cajole love. Don’t manipulate him, trick him or rush him into loving you. Plus, you wouldn’t be happy with the results anyway, even if they seem to succeed.
  1. Finally, it’s like that old saying says: IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT WILL BE, and I would add, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. This is a spiritual truth, so you can trust it. Really, you don’t want to be with someone who is not right for you. He might look perfect on paper but not be right for you in real life. Trust this life principle, and let real love show up in your life.

If you remember these three points you won’t wonder what the state of your relationship is – it will become apparent. You will see it, feel it, and know it. When your man loves you, he will profess it, he will tell his friends and family, he will shout it out to high heaven! Everyone will know that you are the one – including, and especially YOU.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION –

Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: Lang

Let Love In

(reposted from The Huffington Post)

Black-and-white-effect-romantic-couple-hugs-300x250To find true love, we must be true to love.  ~Diana Lang

Opening your heart can be scary. Especially if you have been hurt in love . . . and who has not been hurt in love.

If I love you, will you love me back? This is our question. This is our fear. But this is also our deepest wish!

The fear of heartbreak is primal. The more we lean over the edge of the cliff of love, the more precipitous it can feel. There we are, with our heart waaay out there, on the very edge of our sleeves, hanging on by the tips of our toes to the edge of the crumbling cliff side, straining over the chasm in the hopes of true love. Love can be truly terrifying!

And so we protect ourselves, making sure we won’t get hurt again. Our hearts can harden. We can make ourselves invulnerable. Our hearts feel like an open wound that never really healed right. Over time, this wound can cover over and become a veritable scar, and impenetrable to new love. The gnarled scar tissue of old love wounds can become pretty grizzly over the years, to the point that when real love is offered we might not let ourselves be open enough to receive it. “I’m not going to get hurt again!” we declare.

If we do get brave enough to let ourselves open our hearts again, we can enter into a relationship literally halfheartedly, with our hearts hidden and protected under lock and key. The problem is, when we don’t bring our whole hearts to it, that love is likely doomed to fail.

Worse, the deeper we go in our relationship, the more there is to lose, and it becomes more and more difficult to take the risk of letting our hearts be vulnerable. We become uneasy and nervous, jumpy and touchy, loosing our perspective, taking everything personally, and quick to bolt.

But remember, a good relationship is built on give and take. And as much as we might be taking a risk in love – so is our partner.

From a spiritual perspective, it is always right to love. But there is a hard but beautiful truth inherent to this: Love is vulnerable. And you can’t take that part out of it. For the state of vulnerability requires actually feeling vulnerable.

The more vulnerable we are with each other, the deeper our love can grow. But conversely, the greater the depth of our pain if it doesn’t work.

To trust each other means to give over to each other, even in the face of our fear, that we could be left, walked out on, or be used.

Think of relationship like breathing. You breathe in, you breathe out. In this model, you receive love; you give love. It has to go both ways.

It’s like inhaling and exhaling. We need to trust the natural process of life. Just giving love can deplete us. The same as only taking love will back us up. Just like the breath, we must let it in and let it out. It must be both. Spiritual principle and nature say so.

There is so much risk in taking the chance to love again. We might think it’s easier to just not risk it at all. We worry, what if we’re wrong?

But I would counter, what if we’re right?

You can’t find a real love if you are not willing to really love.

So, take the risk to let love in. Let it in. Let it out. Let it flow. You might get some bumps and bruises along the way, and a little callous over here and a scar over there, but love is inherently brave. Take a risk. Practice vulnerability. Open your heart and see how love finds you!

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION –

 Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: Lang



Reprinted from The Huffington Post

Life can sometimes beat us up a bit, turn us over, and spin us around on the subject of our worthiness. Friends and family, and perfect strangers tell us what they think about us with a critical, just-trying-to-help-you eye. But all this does, and especially over time, is erode our self-esteem until we can barely lift our heads up from the weight of all the corrections and criticism from the outside of us – and of course, even worse – from the inside.

Our own inner dialogue is often fraught with egregiously negative self-judgment. “We shouldn’t have said that. We definitely shouldn’t have done that,” etcetera, etcetera, until we can become virtually paralyzed by the sting of our own intensely disapproving and manifestly unkind personal self-evaluation.

In response we might find ourselves disappearing into the social wallpaper of life, dissolving into the crowd, trying to blend in to keep safe.

Or, we do the opposite, and overcompensate, trying to prove our worth to everyone in sight!

The worse we feel about ourselves, the more we project this negative self-image into our actual life experience. This is bad for our relationships, bad for our sense of self, and can make it almost impossible to express our personal creative contribution to the world.

The spiritual solution is to realize that we are inherently good.

This doesn’t mean that we do not grow, or change, or challenge ourselves. It just means recognizing that the raw material of us, the essence of us, is good in the first place. As we become more and more aware of this intrinsic truth, then our natural impulses, our inclinations, our loves and passions begin to unobstructedly carve a beautiful and elegant living sculpture of that essence.

You can start right now to improve this inner state by saying these two affirmations.

“I am good.”

“I am enough.”

While these two statements may seem insignificant, they truly are much more potent than they seem.

And, you may find, they may not be so easy to say as they sound.

But, I can promise you this: by saying them, intoning them in your heart, and bodily memorizing them, you will change your life – utterly.

These essential phrases are like a sacred mantra, a veritable spiritual prescription for rectifying self-esteem. By consciously maintaining them you are choosing to embark on a journey of real self-compassion, where you can begin to rebuild a structurally sound and positively focused framework for living a more loving and fulfilled life.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of