Tag Archives: spiritual solutions

A new YouTube piece by me, SHARING YOUR GIFTS

SHARING YOUR GIFTS – Diana Lang

A minute on compassion

A minute on Compassion with Diana Lang

INTUITION is Your Superpower

intuition

(reprinted from the Huffington Post)

Your intuition is like a superpower. We use it every day in a thousand ways. We use is it in every transaction, negotiation and relationship we engage in.

Intuition is a deep inner listening.

And we all have this ability.

Intuition is a faculty of higher mind. It is a kind of extra sensory perception, as it were. Intuition allows us to discern between the billions of information bits that we are thinking, to discover by filtering through all of this sensory data, the common denominator, which is: the truth of something.

There is often so much mental clutter around certain subjects, especially ones that are important to us, that we sometimes cannot cognize what we think. That’s because we are thinking everything at the same time! When we’re afraid, and especially when we feel our lives depend on it, we can be thinking thousands of thoughts simultaneously with no conscious prioritization. This can put us into utter chaos!

But just behind the veil of the pros-and-cons list of our life, and all the myriad information that we pick up along the way – behind all that data – waiting patiently for us, is our personal inner knowing. Not what the world would say, not what someone else thinks about a subject, but our very own precious knowing.

Intuition helps us sense our way through life’s problems. We can sense when to move and when not to move. We can feel the intentions of another. We can intuit if something is right for us or not. It is literally our “inner sight.” It is insight!

Your intuition is the most accurate gauge of someone’s intention and heart. Your intuition can tell you what something really is. By heeding this deep inner listening, the truth of it can shine through. Because we really do know, or I should say, we can know. We just need to stop, and consciously ask ourselves…

…and then, listen.

Like this:

Become quiet inside yourself. This is very like a little mini-meditation. Sit perfectly still and empty your mind. When you think ofthe decision, the person, or the situation, what do you intuit? (Not, what do you think.) For the moment, put aside your opinions, judgments, or preconceived ideas. What does your heart know? What is your intuition?

Really, deeply listen.

Does your inner self give you a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down? Is there an internal nod of YES, or a squeezing contracted feeling of NO? You will feel it. It is very definite.

Here’s the thing, if you are listening with your intuition, you will know. We can be fooled by the external information of things. We can be overloaded by the sheer density of the concerns that are connected to our question, or overwhelmed by the fears we have of the potential domino-consequence of it. The problem is that the answer we think is right may look great on paper but not be good for our life. Intuition includes logic, but logic doesn’t necessarily include intuition.

It’s important to remember as you are gathering impressions to not be tempted to manufacture reasons to substantiate these impressions while you are receiving them. Listen to your intuition. But don’t try to justify your intuition. If you need to “prove” what or why your intuition is telling you something, you are already out of the intuitive state and back into the ego’s limited fear-logic. This is why intuition is intuition, not deduction or analysis. It’s a whole different faculty of mind.

There is no greater insight than what your intuition senses and offers – if you’ll listen.

It is how Einstein was able to conceive E=mc2. He intuited it first; then he proved it.

Your intuition is a powerful tool. It is like having a secret power, and in time, and with practice, you will learn to trust it more and more. It will guide you seamlessly through life. It will nudge you left when left is exactly the right move for you. As you become more adept in listening to your intuition, you will find yourself navigating your life more and more deftly, decision by decision, choice by choice, breath by breath, moment by moment.

And what is extraordinary about this inner knowing, this intuition, this superpower, is that it is adaptable and ever-responding to the ever-changing circumstance of our ever-changing reality!

Like any superpower, you need to cultivate and develop your intuition. Practice trusting your inner knowing. Get good at it. Let your intuition guide your life, for it will always lead you true.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com

Through Thick And Thin

two lovely glass on rainy day window background

WHAT MAKES A RELATIONSHIP WORK

When you think of relationships that work, really, really work, whose do you think of? Not just the ones that manage to stay together, but the ones that are ever growing and expanding, romantic and intimate. It’s likely that not many come to mind.

What is it about that relationship that makes it endure through thick and thin? Because, thick and thin are going to happen. What it is it about a relationship that makes it last?

Those relationships that make it through the tests of time, that make it through the ups and down of life, from arguments, loss of jobs, money problems, teenagers, midlife crisis, health issues, and mothers-in-laws, to boot, are built on an integral strength that is based on real connection.

Real connection and chemistry look a lot alike, but they are not the same.And, yes, most often they will both be there. But there is a distinction between these qualities of love. Real connection is beyond chemistry. It is more likerecognition. When you meet, it feels like you already know each other. Like you always have. You could be opposites in every way, culturally, religiously, philosophically, and still, that recognition is there.

Real connection can include chemistry but is not dependent on chemistry.Chemistry does not, of itself, equal connection — or longevity. Without a heart connection it will be short-lived or forced. Sometimes we try to jam chemistry into the slot of real connection, and this can become a heavy woe. Trust that you will know the difference, because there is a difference, and you can feel it.

It’s not something that will escape you, or that you might miss, or that is illusive. It’s right there in the forefront – and very different than chemistry by itself. Real connection has a force to it, a rightness that is undeniable. It has a mandate about it. It’s like a cosmic instruction: “You two are one.” There is no doubt, there is no unsureness, and you will both know it.

From a spiritual perspective, real connection, is an authentic, undeniable, mutual connection built on real appreciation and respect for each other. Real connection is when we instinctively turn to each other, rather than to someone else. It is not a compromise or a settling. And, it’s not that “I can’t live without you,” it’s rather, “I don’t want to live without you.” It’s a relationship where who you are when you are not even trying is exactly what your partner loves about you. And vice-versa!

Of course, this doesn’t mean everything in every moment is perfect. It just means that at its heart, there is a real regard, even admiration for each other that is core to the relationship. It doesn’t need to be manufactured or forced. It’s just there. It’s like a love safety net.

Relationships will test everything we are, individually, and as a couple. But they also can heal old wounds, and break our hearts open to deeper and more profound levels of love.

Ultimately, time really will tell. For real love will grow you, and show you what real togetherness is.

It’s the little things, you know. The kindnesses, the forgivenesses. It is the mutual understanding and genuine affection for each other. It is being proud of each other, attracted to each, and at the end of the day, confiding in each other. It is about being able to truly be yourself, and that’s WHY your partner loves you.

Our relationship can teach us how to love, right through our confusion or our doubt. We can love each other right through our feelings of unlovability or broken hearts. Out of love for each other our relationship can teach us how to be the most sensitive listener, the consummate lover, the most compassionate forgiver. And all these things are tested — conversation by conversation, interaction by interaction.All built on the mindful, loving understanding, that by working through our disconnection, we are creating a deeper and more lasting connection. This connection then becomes strong — really strong, bonded by trust, bonded by forgiveness. Your love becomes forged by experience like steel.

It is all those little moments of holding hands under the table at the restaurant, having secret communications where not a word is uttered… but the other one knows. This is real love, and this kind of love is worth waiting for if you don’t have it, and building towards if you do.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com

Warmer, Warmer

warmer, warmer

 

 

 

 

HOW TO MOVE ON AFTER YOU HEART IS BROKEN
and fall in love again…

The first thing we are confronted with after a breakup is the plain old shock of it. We are literally gobsmacked. We find ourselves standing with our mouths open and arms hanging limply by our sides wondering what in the world just happened? Heartbreak can occur after six months in a relationship or many years! Breaking up hurts — and it hurts — bad. And there is just no way of getting around that fact.

After a breakup we can feel like we have failed. We feel unworthy and unlovable. We can worry that we’ll never be with anyone. Our worst fear is that there is no one out there for us. But I would counter that you just haven’t found each other yet.

There is a game that we played as kids called “Warmer, Warmer,” where one person hides an object while the other one has to find it. As the seeker gets closer to the object you say, “Warmer, warmer! As they get farther from it, you say, “Cooler, cooler.” If they start moving farther from it you say, “Cold as ice! Cold as the arctic! Frozen as the freezer!” But, if they are standing right next to it, you yell, “You are hot! You are on fire! You’re burning up!” until finally the seeker touches the hidden object.

Breaking up can be like that. When we meet someone and we fall in love, it’s definitely a warmer, warmer moment. It might not be the exact right person yet, but we are getting closer. These relationships along the way help us grow and learn. So, even though it does hurt, this different way of looking at it may help you let go and move on more easily, not looking at the breakup as a mistake, but rather a step along the path.

As the old adage says, when one door closes another one opens. This is important to remember, because in those first days and weeks while you are reeling and refinding your balance again, you can hang on to that phrase like a lifeline. It may not give much solace at first, but it is a spiritual truth, and remembering this will steady you. Natural law says: nature abhors a vacuum. Meaning, once you are truly able to release the old relationship, new love can find you again.

Finally, every relationship defines better and better what you want and don’t want in a partner. Every time you engage with someone — even just one date — you learn a little more about yourself and what matters to you. All of this will help you recognize your true partner that moment when you meet.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION  www.DianaLang.com 
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Meditation as a Practice for Self Love

(reposted from the Huffington Post)

(reposted from the Huffington Post)

Life can be so overwhelming. We can get distracted, confused, and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it. We are bombarded with information and stimulation. We are trying so hard to make money, raise kids, be a good person; we end up getting over-stimulated, over-amped, and finally overwhelmed!

What we are really looking for, though, is meaning self-love and understanding. We are looking for a way to get back to ourselves — to that part of us that is sacred.

The fastest, most direct route to self-awareness and learning to truly love yourself, is meditation. Meditation takes us straight to our true selves. It teaches us about forgiveness, compassion and acceptance. Meditation reconnects us. It awakens that part of ourselves that is pure presence. When we meditate we have the actual experience of inner peace and a deep inner calm. We learn to authentically love — everyone — including ourselves.

It’s simple to mediate. You can try it right now.

First, make yourself comfortable.
Relax your attention a bit . . . even as you’re reading these words.
Simply, let your attention become softer.
Then, take a deep breath.
Notice if it’s full, or shallow, or held.
As you continue to observe your breath, notice if it feels stressed or calm.
Now, take another deep breath — through your nose.
Exhale slowly . . .
Notice how you feel.
Let your body relax.
Let your mind relax.
Then, take another deep breath
and relax even more . . .

You see? In just a few conscious breaths you can begin to change your state of mind. Even in this very short exercise you can get a feeling of what it’s like to meditate.

Within a meditation many things can happen: insights, understanding, forgiveness, resolution, and inspired ideas, all from this simple process.

There are no rules for meditation. The only thing to focus on is being present. When you are meditating, you are allowing yourself room for stillness and reflection — a vacation from the rushed flow of daily life.

By meditating we discover our most true and authentic self. When we meditate we begin to feel calm and sure. We begin to feel guided in every moment. Meditation connects us to our higher knowing. We begin to know the love that is all around us — all the time. We realize that we are worthy beyond measure.

Meditation connects the soul to the self, and by meditating we are building a conscious bridge. Inside this sacred container there is a whole new world. You’ll come to discover that your inner world is as rich as your outer world is!

By meditating you are sending out a signal that you want to connect, that you want to open your heart to the universe and receive all of its gifts. There is no rush. Meditation is a healing process. It is supreme love in action.

Meditation is a return to love. It will teach you to respect yourself, forgive yourself, and finally love yourself. It creates a clear path to real peace and happiness. The place to start is exactly where you are – as you are. And the time to start is . . . now.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION — www.DianaLang.com

Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang

Let Yourself Love Again

fall down 7

(reposted from the Huffington Post)

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a wonderful Japanese proverb that says: Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

In life, we get many chances, many opportunities, many do-overs. When we’ve been hurt, abandoned, embarrassed or ashamed, we can be left feeling as though we are on our proverbial knees. It’s hard to care or even want to try again. We become apathetic, indifferent, numb or hard. We are tired. We get beat up in love and just don’t want to bother. Teenagers say it best in that slangy, twangy way, and with a dramatic roll of the eyes, “what…ever.” These hurt feelings can get buried deep in our bones, and over time, a deep sense of resignation can begin to apply to everything, especially our hearts.

And it’s our hearts especially, because this is where we are the most vulnerable. More than almost any other subject, love is where it hurts most, because it’s personal.

We never want to be in that position again. We say, “I am never going to open my heart up again like that to anyone!“ And then, we don’t.

And there we are.

Alone.

So, how do you open your heart again, knowing full well that you could get hurt?

Love is vulnerable. And vulnerability feels, well, vulnerable! It must, or it would cease to actually be vulnerable. There is just no getting around this part of it. To open our hearts, we need to take our guards down – and be vulnerable. If we don’t our lives will suffer for it.

And, if somehow, we do manage to get into a relationship with our hearts closed and guarded, the relationship will suffer for it. Our partner will complain that they can’t reach us, that we’re not really there. Because we’re not.

If you close your heart off to love, you are basically closing your heart off to life, too. You can’t close off love in just one place. It will be global. Every part of your life will be affected.

From a spiritual perspective it is ALL about love. It’s only about love – the love of our family, our friends, our neighbors, our enemies, and most importantly, ourselves.

So, you have to take the risk, right? You have to know going in that you likelycould, and maybe will, get your heart broken. And still, be willing to love again.

That’s love in action.

That’s falling down seven times, getting up eight.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com

on the election energies

the beginning is near

This is what I was thinking about today.

All of this media hyperbole about the election reminds me of Y2K.

Remember the rampant fear about the year 2000?  For a full year “they” said all the computers and clocks and auto-anything’s would spontaneously turn off at the strike of midnight, and the world would be destroyed by malfunctioning computers, satellites and cell phones.

And then came Dec 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar and the end of the world.

And, nothing happened.

Nothing happened at all.

Trump feels like that.

 

The Value of Being Al-one

meditation4

When a relationship ends, there is a huge, empty space where it was. It can feel like a big, black hole. All that love, all that energy was pouring TO someone, and now they aren’t there. But the habit of outpouring still is.

Somehow, you need to turn that loving energy back towards yourself. This is not so easy to do, but it can be done! In fact, it can be the opportunity of a lifetime! Finally, you can have the time and the energy to fall in love with you. In order to do this, you must go inward, for this is where your Self is!

Going inward can feel like a daunting task. Our instinct is to go outward. We want to get away from the pain, our broken hearts, the loss. But of course, that is exactly what we must attend in order to heal ourselves, not abandon ourselves. We must come to our own rescue and love ourselves back to life.

To do this we need to create space for ourselves. Being alone can be powerful and healing. We can take this time of being alone to heal recent wounds, and while we’re at it, past ones, too. By allowing ourselves the time to know ourselves, to even linger there, we begin a process of self-love that will last for the rest of our lives.

In our society today, it can seem completely normal to fill up every single space with something. It is practically a taboo to not be busy. Busy-ness has come to mean worthiness, popularity, and success. I would counter it is simply unavailability. The world will try to convince you that you shouldn’t ever, ever be alone. Like alone is bad. Like alone is failure.

But alone is where your heart is. It is where YOU are. And, alone is where you will begin to really learn to love yourself for who you are — as you are.

By allowing yourself to be alone, you can cultivate a state of spaciousness. This internal posture of spaciousness opens the heart. It makes you available – because you are present. And this presence makes you available to every aspect of life, including new love.

In my book, Opening to Meditation, I offer this idea.

“Most of us don’t know how to be alone. We’re afraid of the dark outside when we’re little, and we’re afraid of the dark inside ourselves when we grow up. We learn to fill up all the dark spaces with TV and newspapers and drugs and busyness and anything else we can think of – anything not to be alone. But if you examine the word alone, you’ll see that it comes from the compound word all-one. There’s a big difference between the words alone and lonely.

This is a powerful notion — that by being with ourselves, really with ourselves, we can gain our greatest insights and understanding. We can begin to truly learn and know ourselves. And, in time, we learn how to love ourselves — our true self — not only the persona that we go out into the world with, but that most real and fundamental part of us.

The ability to be alone is essential to eventually being in a relationship. It is our self-love that attracts a partner that is right for us. Being alone teaches us to accept ourselves, forgive ourselves, and finally to bloom ourselves open to love again.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com
Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang
To listen to more meditations, follow me on SoundCloud. https://soundcloud.com/diana_lang

Should I Date More than One Person at a Time?

reprinted from the Huffington Post

  • DATING ADVICE FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE

dating many men

“Should I date more than one person at a time?” we wonder. “Wouldn’t it open up the field if I dated several people?” Even though there is some merit in this question, at least in the beginning of dating, soon you would discover that the answer is unequivocally, NO.

There is a wise old adage that says: The eagle that chases two rabbits catches none.

The statisticians of the world, of course, would say that this is an odds issue, and the more, the merrier! More chances equal more possibilities of success, right?

Wrong. That’s what the carnies of the world would tell you too, as you attempt for the umpteenth time to throw the ping-pong ball into the fishbowl. It is a scam of the ego.

Still, logic would seem to dictate: the more fishing lines I throw out there, the more fish I could catch.

But, what kind of fish would you catch?

The answer is: The same kind.

This is how energy works!

Like attracts like.

What if you want to find “the One?”

You are not going to catch a mermaid or merman with many lures. You have to evoke them out of this great, grand sea of the world. Yes, there may be many fish in the sea, but you are only looking for one! And, not just any one, but The One.

Just as in looking for a job, sending out a hundred resumes won’t land you a position if you believe there are no jobs out there. A thousand resumes won’t change the outcome of what you already believe. But if you believe there are many jobs out there, and you are a rare talent, you may be surprised to discover that the next time you go to your local café, that you find yourself sitting next to the CEO of the big, new health food store in town, the one that coincidentally happens to be looking for a marketing person . . . and there you are!

When we consciously visualize, and know our partner is coming – he will.
If you truly believe he is not, then you will also be right – he’s not coming.

Multiple-dating is like shooting buckshot. This desperate and random aim scatters, producing many apparent options. But all that this haphazard action does is just take up your time and delay the outcome.

Certainly, by putting ourselves out there, we will probably attract someone, but wouldn’t you rather attract that special someone? Wouldn’t you like to attract your soul partner who is also looking for you?

It seems tempting to believe that more volume will give more opportunity. And it is true, more volume does attract . . . but here is the important thing to remember: it attracts more of the same thing.

Here are the 3 steps to practice for finding your true soul partner.

       1. EVOKE – From the core of your innermost self, call your partner to you – soul to soul.

       2. VISUALIZE – In your mind’s eye, see him coming. Know he is on his way.

       3. RECOGNIZE – Know that you will meet each other easily and effortlessly, and that you will immediately recognize each other. And when he does show up, don’t second-guess it. Recognize him!

This is about love, right? Not about finding company. We can all find someone to spend time with, but not necessarily someone whom we really want to share our lives with. Yes, we might be able to find someone that can blend into our lives – but real love – real love – transcends all of this. It is spiritual recognition.

Spiritual intention is very focused. It is conscious. It is an evocation. It is a literal calling on spirit to match us up, soul to soul.

By calling in your soul partner, he will show up into your life like a magic trick. You will find yourself saying, “I’m not sure how it happened; he just showed up at the door . . .

. . . and, it was love at first sight.”

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION www.DianaLang.com Follow Diana Lang on Twitter:

Are You Listening? Relationship Advice From a Spiritual Perspective

~reprinted from the Huffington Post – Diana Lang

listening

“Well, I think part of my gift, if I have one, is that I love listening.”
— Eric Clapton

We all know how good it feels to be really, really listened to. It is healing when we feel heard. But as you have likely discovered, good listeners are hard to find.

Rather than wishing that you knew more people — or anyone, for that matter — that listens well, I would recommend that you simply learn to be a good listener yourself.

Listening is an art. It is something we can cultivate over time. Some people have this more naturally than others, but anyone can learn the art of listening.

The trick to listening is to hear without judgment.

• It is not about just being quiet until the other person is done speaking.
• It is not about formulating your counter-thought while they are talking.
• It is not about sifting through all of your opinions until something they say matches up with
something you already think.
• It’s not about fixing the problem you perceive they are saying.
• It is not about arguing, or being louder, to make your point.
• It is not about being right.

It’s about being present — from your heart — and listening with your heart, to what that person is really trying to say. It’s about developing an open mind. It is a conscious practice of not jumping to preconceived conclusions or fixed opinions. It is simply listening with an open heart.

Just like a musician can have a good ear for music, or a gardener has a green thumb, or a mom has a mother’s intuition, it is the love of the subject that lets us listen past the words; it is love that keeps us interested, attentive, and caring.

Whether we are talking about the musician or the gardener, the mother or the listener, the common denominator here is love. The musician, out of love of the harmony will develop a more discerning ear. The gardener feels the heartbeat of the earth through her hands. A mother senses every nuance of her newborn’s breath, and a good listener really cares about the person that is speaking.

This cannot be faked.

Everyone feels everything. Like dogs in a park, we all know who’s boss — and who’s not. By a sniff! And, as you’ve seen, it’s not about which is the biggest (or the smallest). It can be the Chihuahua who rules the pack! We all feel energy.

When we are listening from our heart, or what I would call conscious listening, the other person feels heard — because they are being heard. We are not judging as we are listening, we are simply bearing witness to someone’s heart. This is a gift that we can give. And the one who is being heard can feel it — and knows it.

Listening is an act of love. When we love someone, we listen more deeply. We are hearing the tone of their voice, the rhythm of the cadence of their speech, the rise and fall of their inflection. We are hearing the real meaning of what they are saying, beyond the words they are using! This active listening is a deeper kind of intimacy.

Listening is inherently deeply respectful.

It says, I want to know you. You matter to me. I care what you are saying.
It says, I love you, so I hear you.

When we fall in love we are all excellent listeners. We really care. We really do want to know every little thing about them. We are paying 100 percent attention. We are not distracted; we are not thinking about something else; we are not thinking about ourselves. We are thinking about them and only them, and vice versa!

When we really listen, listening without judgment or agenda, we will experience an entirely different sort of conversation. It becomes a divine discourse. It is a true exchange of love. It is real connection. Our conversation becomes a collaboration and a grand exchange of intertwining concepts and ideas that we are sharing. We can lift each other up to higher and higher levels of mutual understanding.

Rather than trading opinions at each other, we become two people sharing ourselves with each other. Our conversation becomes a discussion versus a debate. It becomes a joyous interchange rather than a mental jousting match. When two people consciously converse, new ideas can develop. Both people will be expanded and come to new understandings and points of view.

This is conscious conversation.

What if we could begin to listen like this to everyone — our hairstylist, the plumber, our mother, our kids, our partner — with this much presence? Imagine a world where we really hear each other, rather than judge each other. What kind of world could we make?

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION — www.DianaLang.com

Follow Diana Lang on Twitter:

Should I Lower My Standards? Relationship advice from a spiritual perspective

STANDARD Norwegian_Royal_Standard_flag(reprinted from The Huffington Post.)

When it comes to relationships, we all have our standards. Standards are those ethical principles that we navigate our lives by. They are a kind of personal code by which we make choices, decisions and intentions. Fundamentally, they are the ideals that we hold dearest to our hearts. They are essential personal covenants that shape how we live our lives, determine what’s important to us, and effectively direct our motivation and direction. Our standards are foundational to every single thing we do.

The thing about standards, though, is everyone’s are different! By holding ourselves to our standards, we cannot help but hold others to them too. But because everyone has slightly — or radically — different ones, we can get in trouble when we try to impose our standards onto someone else.

In a relationship, congruous standards are important. It is said that the single most important component that allows a relationship to last is similar philosophy. Our standards are based on our philosophies. They are corresponding and interconnected. Everything else can be different between a couple: where we come from, how much money we have, the color of our skin, our ages, our interests, but if our standards are in conflict, then there will eventually be philosophical differences that can become an immense obstacle to sustaining the relationship.

This is why couples often find natural compatibility with a partner that comes from a similar religious faith, or from the same country, or even neighborhood! Where we come from influences and shape our standards. We are often naturally attracted to someone who inherently harmonizes with these standards…

Or, we can be attracted to the opposite.

If we are with someone who has different standards, and especially lower ones than ours, it can be very destructive. It can bring out the worst in us, instead of the best of us. If the discrepancy is great, it can turn out to be a match not made in heaven. This can do a lot of damage to our confidence and erode those things we hold paramount. If we start to doubt our own standards and lower them, each individual, and the relationship itself, will slowly be degraded. We can begin to doubt our core beliefs and values, and gradually, eventually, like the way water must flow downhill, our standards will devolve.

You never want to step down to someone’s lower standards. A standard is an ideal, something that we reach for and aspire to. And if our standards are lessened because we are afraid to hold them up, then the relationship will suffer for lack of principle, and lack of depth. It will feel empty.

The good news is that we can evoke a higher standard from our partner. When we hold our standard up, they get to step up to it — or step out of it. Don’t let anyone stem your spirit or your higher knowing. By holding to your higher standard, everyone will be better for it. When we hold to our standards we are actually offering our partner an opportunity to grow. By raising the bar in a relationship we all grow. By lowering our standards, we are diminished.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION — www.DianaLang.com Follow Diana Lang on Twitter:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-lang/should-you-lower-your-sta_b_9717278.html

 

Save Space, Sacred Space – How to stay together

-Republished from the Huffington Post

When we first fall in love safe space just happens. At the beginning of a relationship we automatically develop this intimacy. Safe space is naturally occurring. We let our guard completely down. We are open. There is access, access, access — all the time — 24/7. We tell each other everything. We want to know everything about them, and we want them to know every-little-thing about us. These first intense, undefended, open, honest and vulnerable conversations begin to form the bond that is critical to the eventual longevity of the relationship.

Over time, this initial bonding gets deeper. Layer after layer of trust is established. Your relationship becomes solid like a mountain. It becomes sacred space.

Sacred space is that sacrosanct condition where two people come together in innocence and openness in the name of love. Anything can happen in this space. Anything can be said in this space. Anything can be forgiven in this space. And, everything can be held in this space. It is this safe, sacred space that allows our hearts to bond, unite, and become one. This is what marriage is in its ideal.

But, if it happens that this safe space is breached by broken trusts, harmful acts or words, or un-repaired misunderstandings and arguments, these relationship problems that normally could be worked out — are not worked out — and eventually, they can become unpredictable land mines that can blow us apart. An erosion of trust begins to occur by things like dishonesty, secrecy, duplicity, apathy, indifference, resentment, anger, etc.

Just as water can erode away a mountain over time, so too can the safe space of our relationship be worn away. If it gets bad enough, this erosion can become like the Grand Canyon. It becomes insurmountable with no possible way to reengage or reconcile, because there are so many hurt feelings, and so many unexpressed wounds of the heart. The distance becomes too great to bridge. We get psychologically beaten up, until finally, all we can do is pick up the broken pieces of our lives and limp away.

What stops the flow of vulnerability and trust in relationship are all those unspoken things. And, there can be so many unspoken things when we stop sharing. We stop telling each other every-little-thing. We begin to guard our hearts, and keep things from each other. We have little secrets about big things . . . and little things.

And sometimes, it’s the little things that can do the most damage. The old axiom of marriages breaking up because someone doesn’t put the toothpaste cap back on is a sad parable on Love Gone Wrong. We are arguing about nothing. But it’s really not nothing – it’s symbolic. The toothpaste cap becomes emblematic of all those little hurts and oversights that actually represent the growing distance and the widening chasm that is occurring in the relationship. It’s a warning.

This is dangerous territory. As the distance increases and our feelings get more and more hurt and sensitized, this dynamic can begin to ricochet, increasing in velocity, until it feels like we have created a chasm too wide to span.

So, now what do we do?

Somebody has to throw a line across the chasm or it will surely further fall apart. It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong. The one who is able to recognize the problem must be the first responder. Don’t wait until they do – they may never! Whoever is able to throw the first rope across the chasm — should. We have to put down our pride, or our need to be right, or our fear of rejection, and reach out anyway. Someone needs to start the conversation – and sooner than later. The more time that goes by disconnected, the harder it will be to reconnect.

The good news is, you can rebuild your safe space together. You can heal the breach and open your hearts to each other again. You can win back that lost territory by love and forgiveness, understanding and compassion. All you need to do is start the conversation – in vulnerability.

Vulnerability is the key. Otherwise, the chasm opens up all over again. In this safe space of openness and willingness you can start to repair the damage, build a new bridge, and anchor your love in an even deeper trust and vulnerability.

A successful relationship is based on trust, vulnerability, and intimacy. Creating safe space – sacred space – is how.

Where there is safe space there is humor, there is understanding, and most importantly there is forgiveness. Once sacred space is established, and then, protected, honored and respected, the love that is forged within that safe space can last a lifetime.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION 
Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang

MONEY and Love: How to Navigate the Nitty-Gritty of Finances in a Relationship

Love is greater than Money~ reposted from the Huffington Post

“Money can’t buy me love.” 
~The Beatles

How you handle your finances with your partner will tell you a lot about what kind of a relationship you have. Right away, you can know if it’s a generous relationship or a stingy one. Do you share your resources, pool them, or keep them separate? Do you share expenses mutually, or always keep a running tally in your head? These are important questions in a relationship. The bottom line, when it comes right down to it, is: how your partner is in relationship with their money is likely how they will be in relationship with you.

From a metaphysical perspective, everything is energy — even money — maybe, especially money! The way we spend it, save it, share it, or hide it, are all indicative of how we feel about abundance, or the lack thereof.

If you are paying attention, you can know right in the beginning of your romance what your partner’s relationship is with money. It is evident in everything they do. Unfortunately, we might not see these signs, because in our need to make the relationship work, we may overlook some of the most blatant signs.

Here’s the hard truth: if someone is stingy with the waiter, they will likely be stingy with you — maybe not right away, but eventually. As nice as things may appear, or as good as everything might look on paper, if you read between the lines, you can see, if you’ll look, what your partner’s financial philosophy is — and therefore where you may stand, too.

So, pay attention. Remember, it is not about how much money a person has, or spending money we don’t have, or being reckless with the money we do; it’s about the energy we have about it. It’s about our relationship with money. Is it selfish or unselfish – whatever amount we have.

And, of course, this works both ways. You need to examine your relationship with money too. Where do you stand on the subject of money? Is there never enough, or is there more than enough? I can tell you for sure that people will come to the same monetary conclusions over and over again, based on their fundamental financial philosophy, no matter how much they have, or don’t have.

Because it’s not about how much money you have. It’s about WHATEVER money there is. If it’s $5 or $500, $5,000 or $5,000,000 — it’s all the same. It’s our relationship with money that we’re talking about here. Are we miserly or charitable? A person can be as tight OR as generous over $5 as much as with $5,000. It is all relative.

And, if this person is going to be your relative, then it’s worth your time to observe their relationship with money. Are they calculating or magnanimous? Are they honest and ethical in their business dealings, or greedy and bending the rules? Does your partner save money, loan money, gamble money, or give money? If they give it, do they expect something in return?

Sigh… the return. This is the bottom line. In the grim, monetary, business-is-business world, the return on investment IS the bottom line. But in the world of relationship, it is the death knell. Love is not a business transaction. So beware the man (or woman) who thinks so.

Like in all things relationship, communication is the bridge for better financial relationship happiness. In a healthy relationship, there should not be any taboo subjects. Subjects that are off the table, tell you where the problems will be. If your partner won’t talk about money issues, there is a money issue. If they won’t talk about their mother, there are mother issues. Get it?

So, be aware. Money can be a difficult subject. People sometimes feel that they can keep it separate somehow, because it is about numbers. It seems black and white. But the very black-and-whiteness of this money perspective can be the literal measuring stick of how much we will let ourselves be connected to someone. Are we “all in” or not? Money is not a separate subject. It is a living demonstration and expression of how connected we can be!

Love is inherently generous. Love is sincerely unselfish. Love is wholly sharing, what little or much we may have. If money is where we draw the line, then that very line, describes the depth of what our relationship can be. And that, my friends, is the real bottom line.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION -www.DianaLang.com

“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 –www.DianaLang.com

Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana 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 – www.DianaLang.com

 Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang

GOOD ENOUGH

innocense

Reprinted from The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-lang/good-enough_b_9396406.html

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
OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com

Vulnerability

daisy rifle at kent state

In your vulnerability is your strength.

This is the secret of the feminine. As women, we may not realize the POWER of our position. We have been taught to fight like men do, but we cannot win well this way.

The masculine has a power in his own right, of course, and this is well-known and understood. This has been the primary energy in the world for many millennia. Up until now. The times are changing, and now is the time for the re-emergence of the feminine principles – of compassion, peace, and inclusion. These feminine principles are what the world is so desperately in need of.

 The feminine is not masculine. Our power is in our Yin, not our Yang. We can literally soothe the savage beast and we can help heal this helter-skelter world.

In my workshops on masculine/feminine spirituality, one of the teaching stories I tell comes out of the ancient lore of the Celts.

“It was said that when the men came home from battle, bloody and wounded, and full of fight and rage and death, the women would meet their men at the outskirts of the village with their breasts bared.”

In this one simple and singular act, the women broke the spell of their men’s war-ignited blood lust and savagery. The returning soldiers were met by all the women of the village, young and old. For each age, from child, to maiden, to mother, to grandmother, has a power of her own. They did it to make their homes and hearths safe, their tribe civilized, and to effectively keep their community healthy and successful.

This instinct to be vulnerable, to literally expose the most sensitive, heart-centered part of themselves, returned their men, in one elegant gesture, back to their families and their community.

This gift of vulnerability is highly underestimated, and generally misunderstood for weakness. And this is a great loss to us all. For in baring our hearts, our souls, our feelings, our tears, we help heal our world, our men, and even the masculine within us – for we are all of us, a mix of both.

When we kill the feminine aspect, the masculine aspect will rule. The masculine without the feminine is unbalanced. It can be too brutal and coarse. The feminine brings heart, and love, and tenderness to mankind’s most mortal wounds.

Do not be ashamed of this tenderness. It is your gift. Let yourself fully embrace and embody the power of your touch, your understanding, your compassion, tending this power like a holy flame. In this way, we can heal ourselves, and we can heal each other.

This means to lead with your heart and to stand in the strength of love, in the power of compassion, and the clarity of truth.

This is not weakness. This is strength.

We can create a new world that heals our lives, our men, and ourselves.

So, when next you find yourself with the opportunity to open your heart ­– Let love rule – in truth, in simplicity, in authenticity, and in power. Simply love –heart on your sleeve – in the power of vulnerability, and watch what happens!

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION www.DianaLang.com
© DIANA LANG 2015

REPRINTED FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diana-lang/unrequited-love-the-spiri_b_8449180.html

The 3 Spiritual Rules for a Lasting and Loving Relationship – or How to Keep Falling in Love

divine marriage

A new blog post for PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT CAFÉ

by Diana Lang

When I marry a couple, I say a lot of things designed specifically for the unique couple that I am marrying, but the one thing I always say in every celebration is this:

“A happy marriage is a long falling in love. It is a continuing courtship. It is a process of falling in love again and again.”

They may not know it, but in these few simple statements, I am giving the secret to a long and happy relationship.

Whether we are newly dating, or in the first stages of a burgeoning relationship, or in a long and committed one, these sentences are the alchemical formula for a real and lasting love.

The newly dating couple has the advantage, of course.  Because they are new.  Everyone is trying their best, and being their best, and wanting the best for each other.

And that’s the key. We forget about ourselves. For true love is selfless. We are truly for each other. We do not see each others faults so sharply; we do not have a long list of grievances because we are looking at each other with new eyes. And as we do, we fall more deeply in love.

But how do you re-fall in love when maybe the luster has dulled? What happens to our relationship when we start to take each other for granted? Or forget why we fell in love in the first place?

So, here are the 3 important rules to a happy relationship.

  1. Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate. Act like you just met. See your partner with new eyes. Let them surprise you! And then they will!
  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you are confused or unsure, talk about it. Say, “I am confused. I don’t understand.” Then see what your partner says. Tell the truth. Don’t be strategic. Be innocent. True love is innocent. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hurt in the past. Don’t bring the past into your current relationship. Resist the temptation to hold resentments of past events. Which leads me to rule three …
  1. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Love holds no grievances. Learn to make up quickly. Try to go to sleep without hurt feelings. If there are negative feelings from the past, talk about them until you see your way through.

With these three rules you can build a lasting and deeply loving relationship. For love really is always the answer.

— Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION www.DianaLang.com