Whether you are single or long-time married, I suspect that at heart as Valentine’s Day approaches, you hope for some touch of romance to kiss your life on this day for lovers.

 Romance has many faces and flavors.  It can center on being in love; sharing an intimate bubble of attraction and interest with another, feeling special because you are special to someone.  Or, it could happen in just a moment – a co-worker or an admirer presents you with a rose or some yummy chocolate.  You flush and, in that moment, know you are beautiful and sexy. Superb!  Your Valentine’s Day was not for naught… Romance is alive!

 Yes, you may yearn for a deeply committed relationship; one that completes you and feeds your soul.  As you see those “happy couples” together, it can look like they’ve got it all.  Maybe yes, maybe no… If you’ve recently been in an unsatisfying relationship, you know about conflict and struggle even with someone you’re “crazy” about.  Could be that right now you are better off in your single status where you can rebuild your confidence and reevaluate what you want to do differently going forward.

 So here are two situations to consider: you are single and yearning to be connected or… you are in a ho-hum relationship and want to regain some spark with your partner.  These might seem like very different scenarios but here’s what they have in common.

 While we may all crave a touch of romance, on Valentine’s Day and beyond,  are we the passive recipients of admiration; waiting, hoping for some sweet attention?  That sounds too much like wishing for Valentine cards in elementary grade school.  The big question is “How can you make it happen for yourself?”

 First a quick story:  It was a chilly New Year’s Eve.  My husband and I decided to take a walk that evening through our downtown.  The party was beginning to warm up here and there out on the sidewalk.  As we rounded a corner, up ahead there was some upbeat music playing, a small crowd gathered and two people dancing.  As we got closer I realized that the man dancing was a single friend of ours.  He was beautifully dressed, moving gracefully… inviting one woman after another to dance with him.  He was bringing the party!  Lots of fun; excitement, with the opportunity to dance with a handsome man who was all about making each dance partner feel that she was part of a special moment. 

 Back to the big question: “How can you make it happen for yourself?”  How can you create an attentive experience for another or for yourself that is novel, passionate, unexpected… a moment or an evening of connection and play?  This is a stretch. Use your imagination and do something out of the ordinary.  Pick an item off your wish list or… let it be a matter of attitude – flirty, audacious, more “out there” than usual. 

 I guarantee you’ll have fun!

 

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Here’s something I personally have noticed about year ends and new years. Toward the end of a year, I’m so ready for the old year to be over, so eager for a fresh start.  It’s like I expect stepping into a new year, say 2013, will clean a year’s worth of the mud off my boots…so I can be lighter, freer, more successful.

Those first couple of weeks in a new year carry an optimistic glow, a glow of new possibilities, that things can be different and one’s struggles can indeed be overcome.  Please note here that the flip of a calendar page is not that powerful.  The real power behind the change you desire is, of course, you!

Not to “dis” the New Year; it does come with the metaphoric gift of a fresh start.  Once again we have the opportunity to take stock and make some different choices.  This year, 2012, can actually be different.  What would it take for that early January glow to warm you all year?  You would have to step more fiercely into shaping your life, that’s what!

One of the hardest questions to answer can be “what do you want?”  When people are faced with actually saying, out loud, what they want, lots of folks slip sideways and make some allusion to winning the Lottery like… a heap of money will solve all their problems.  That’s what they want.

I’d like to make a distinction here.  The absence of problems isn’t the same thing as a compelling, exciting, powerful life.  We will always have problems.  Everyone, even ultra rich people, has problems.  Money may allow us a different set of choices but it’s not a free pass, you still need to decide what’s important and worth doing with this life of yours.

There are so many reasons why at midlife we may stay stuck with the habit of an unsatisfying status quo. It could be that:

- you know what you want but are afraid of making significant changes, maybe afraid that you’ll mess things up, so you’re  willing to stay with “the devil you know”

- maybe you think you are undeserving of a life in which you are in charge, able to make choices that will please you and make you happy

- you have a “feeling” of unrest or discontent or incompleteness but don’t know what it will take to feel more purposeful and alive; perhaps you find yourself daydreaming, trying to get a clearer sense of what is missing, or

- even if you can describe what you desire, you are uncertain about how to get where you want to go; you wonder about the steps you must take so you can move ahead to claim your dream and make it a reality.

If you are under 45 or so, you should be out para-sailing or bungee jumping or some such.  Not to say that people in midlife don’t have fun, of course we do.  But in midlife, we also have a responsibility to ourselves.  It’s your time to consider what has depth and meaning, maybe time for a significant course correction and it’s definitely time to be the hero of your own story.

Email me… tell me how your story begins from today going forward…tell me more about your story…then, tell me what’s in the way of the story you want to tell.

 

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