Category Archives: marriage

When was the last time you said “I Love You” . . . to Yourself?

When was the last time you said “I Love You” . . . to Yourself? Now that’s a question, isn’t it?

And I’m curious about your answer. Would it be OK to ask yourself the question now? See if you can embrace whatever answer comes without judging yourself. Whatever your answer, it’s just information.

***

An Exercise for You
Here’s an exercise that can help. Sit down in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe in and out three times. Close your eyes and see yourself standing in front of a mirror. Now be there in front of that mirror. Say to yourself, either silently or out loud “Your Name, I Love You.” How does it feel to the part of you who is saying it? Why are you saying it? And for the part of you who is hearing and receiving it, can you let it in? Does it feel good? Or not? What are you feeling in your body? Do you feel worthy of such self-love? Do you deserve? If you feel loved—wonderful.

If you can’t say it or it’s hard or you can’t let the love in then you may want to start saying “I Love you” and see what arises when you say those words while at the same time strengthening your love of yourself. See if you can hold love and not love. That would be a good practice.

***

What did you discover? When was the last time you said I Love You to yourself: upon wakening this morning? before going to sleep last evening? a month ago? you can’t remember? hardly ever? Are you much more accustomed to hear yourself saying, “I hate this wrinkle or look at that fat roll?”

It was Carl Rogers, the psychologist, who said the hardest thing for people to say to each other are the very positive things. That is true for ourselves with ourselves. As I write to you today I’m remembering I have lived through loving and hating myself. They are two different worlds. I’m remembering one morning just around Halloween, years ago, when I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and felt such hatred for myself and the way I looked . . . even with my make-up on. I was devastated. At the time I had no voice to respond to this hateful voice to say something like “Excuse me, you don’t get to talk to me that way. Ever. For any reason!” Yes, I too know non-loving.

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Now after awakening to and transcending my early inner world I know loving and I know hating. Sometimes, many times a day I hear a voice from within say “I so love you.” And I hear another voice say, “I love you too.” Sometimes when I feel sad, sometimes when I feel lonely, sometimes when I’m stretching myself and trying something new, sometimes just because, for no reason. That kind of love for myself is right for all of us. It is our birthright. It reminds me of Derek Walcott’s beautiful poem Love after Love.

You actually don’t have to say the words out loud or even silently, what’s important is you have the feeling of self love.

If your answer is that you say “I Love You” to yourself several times a day or a week then I dance with you. But before we get too celebratory I wonder if you know where you say, “I love you” from. You see there is achievement, accomplishment, what we might call conditional “love”—which perhaps is not love at all—because you love yourself because the number on your scale is low enough today. Or did you just get engaged so you are proving you are OK to yourself? You know what I mean.

My dear friends that is accomplishment or achievement, for how much we succeeded I wouldn’t call that love; it’s achievement. Truly all good things, don’t get me wrong but not love. It is acknowledgment. I would call that “Conditional Something.” If you achieve this, that or the other, then I will love you. That is not real love. I’m sorry to say.

I’ve watched so many clients I work with, over and over again, be gravely disappointed because they finished a degree, had a huge business success and they still don’t feel lovable inside. They had a belief that an outside success would create an inside feeling. No true. They were caught in the Conditional Love hope world.

Then there is Unconditional Love. Unconditional Love is not about worthiness or deserving. It is love without conditions: “I love you because I love you, no reason. I love you because you are. No conditions, no accomplishment. I love you for being you: a total acceptance from your heart.” You still may not like that wrinkle or extra 10 pounds but it doesn’t destroy your love for yourself.

If you feel such a love without conditions for yourself, you are there. Don’t take it for granted. Whether you grew up this way or you’ve worked to come to this place, no matter: let it guide you to the life you were meant to live.

Do you know that the more we love ourselves, the more we can love others and the more we can let in another’s love for us. And if we don’t love ourselves, it does not matter how loving your partner is or family is you won’t be able to receive the love.

Self love then leads to self care.
Then you want to take care of yourself like you would care for anyone your deeply loved. And self love and self care lead to well being and thriving. Kind of interesting because self love and self care lead to creating a life that you love from your whole self.

Are you afraid that if you love yourself then you’ll be all alone? And no one else will love you. Hogwash!

The world of Unconditional Self Love helps us go forward into the unknown, fail and feel loved, experiment, and follow our passion not knowing where that will lead us and be loved. There is a power to Unconditional Self Love that you don’t want to miss. It’s life-changing.

 

For more articles on self love, self care and thriving, and living the life you love you may want to visit check out my blog post archives, and website articles and Get on our mailing list. Watch for the upcoming webinar the Feminine Power Project.

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Lynda Klau, Ph.D.
Founder & Director
Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Development
www.drlyndaklau.com
life-unlimited-blog.com
1 212 595 7373

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“Take the first step” toward Real Communication

Take the first step says poet David Whyte, not the second or the third for real communication: with yourself, at work, at home . . . in all communications, in all relationships.

Learn how to LISTEN even when you are angry or convinced you are right. Learn how to say what needs to be said that’s in your head and heart.

Over and over again I find myself being moved when I hear another tell me their experience. Like yesterday, I went to a new dentist who I didn’t want to like. My beloved dentist of years had retired and sold his practice to Dr. J.

Little by little as I shared my negative thoughts with a patient in the waiting room and listened to her, and then listened to Eileen as she cleaned my teeth, I saw my closed, fixed opinion begin to soften and open. And finally I meet Dr. J. He is shockingly lovely, open and smart. He is the first dentist who will listen to me talk about my health food toothpastes that have me coming for teeth cleanings every six months instead of the typical three-month visit.

Take the first step: learn how to put your feelings into words and share. Learn how to “for real” listen.

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Here’s an exercise for you to develop your sharing and listening muscles.

An Exercise: Sharing Appreciations and Resentments

1.  A speaks her appreciations to B. B listens and doesn’t interrupt. A gives concrete examples, e.g. when I asked you to turn the computer off and you did, I really appreciated that. A gives a concrete example for every appreciation. Maximum time–3 minutes.

2.  B speaks her appreciations to A.  Again, very concrete examples. A listens, hopefully with head and heart and does not interrupt.

3.  A speaks her resentments, once again using concrete examples. B listens, no interruptions.

4.  B shares resentments while A listens.

Do this for a short period of time—3 minutes each maximum.

At first you are practicing speaking and listening. There is no responding.  When you have developed a muscle, you can respond if you want to after the other person has shared. No discussion just a simple response for no more than 1 minute.

This is a powerful exercise. In the end you do not have to agree. You may really disagree. However, if you’re listening with your head, heart and body you will most likely be affected; you and the other will find your authentic way.

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Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder and Director of

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

1 212 595 7373

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Relationship Counseling: Don’t Hold Back: a poem by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

A How-To have relationships that are food for the soul.  Savor it!  Or tell me it’s not your food.

brought to you by Dr. Lynda Klau:

 

A relationship

is one of the mysteries of life.

and because it exists between two

persons,

it depends on both.

 

Whenever two persons meet,

a new world is created..

Just by their meeting,

a new phenomenon comes into

existence –

one which was not, before,

one which never existed before.

And through that new phenomenon,

both persons

are changed and transformed.

 

Unrelated, you are one thing:

related,

you immediately become something

else.

A new thing has happened.

 

In the beginning, only peripheries meet.

If the relationship grows intimate,

becomes closer,

becomes deeper,

then, by and by,

centers start meeting.

When centers meet,

it is called love.

 

Where peripheries meet,

it is called acquaintance.

You touch the person from without,

just from the boundary,

then it is acquaintance.

Many times,

you start calling your acquaintance

your love.

Then you are in a fallacy.

Acquaintance is not love.

Love is very rare.

To meet a person at this center

is to pass through a revolution in

yourself,

because if you want to meet a person

at his center,

you will have to allow that person

to reach your center also.

You will have to become vulnerable,

absolutely vulnerable,

absolutely vulnerable,

open.

 

It is risky.

To allow someone to reach your center

is risky and dangerous.

You never know what that person will do

to you.

Once all your secrets are known,

once your hiddenness has become

unhidden,

once you are exposed completely,

what the other person will do

you never know.

Fear is there.

That’s why we never open.

 

You can allow somebody

to enter you to your centers

only when you are not afraid,

when you are not fearful.

 

So, I say to you

there are two types of living,

One is fear-oriented;

The other is love-oriented.

 

Fear-oriented living

can never lead you into a deep

relationship.

 

You remain afraid,

and the other cannot be allowed

to penetrate you to your very core.

Up to an extent,

you allow the other to penetrate.

Then a wall comes

and everything stops.

 

The love-oriented person

is the religious person.

The love-oriented person

is one who is not afraid of the future,

one who is not afraid of the result

or of the consequence,

one who lives here and now.

 

That’s what Krishna says to Arjuna

in the Gita:

Don’t be bothered about the result.

That is the fear-oriented mind.

Don’t think about what will happen.

Just be here, and act totally.

 

Don’t calculate.

A fear-oriented mind

is always calculating,

planning,

arranging,

safeguarding.

His whole life is lost in this way.

 

When you are not afraid,

then there is nothing to hide,

then you can be open,

then you can withdraw all boundaries,

then you can invite the other

to penetrate you to the very core.

 

And remember,

If you allow somebody to penetrate you

deeply,

the other will allow you to penetrate

into himself or into herself.

When you allow somebody to penetrate

you,

trust is created.

When you are not afraid,

the other becomes fearless.

 

Kabir has said somewhere:

I look into people.

They are so afraid, but I can’t see why.

They have nothing to lose.

 

It is like a person who is naked,

but never goes to take a bath in the river

because he is afraid his clothes will be

stolen.

 

This is the situation you are in:

you have no clothes,

but you are always afraid of losing them.

What have you got to lose?

Nothing.

This body will be taken by death.

Before it is taken by death,

give it to love.

 

Whatsoever you have will be taken away.

Before it is taken away,

why not share it?

That is the only way of possessing it.

If you can share

and give,

you are the master.

 

It is going to be taken away.

There is nothing you can retain forever.

Death will destroy everything.

 

So, if you follow me rightly,

the struggle is between death and love.

If you can give,

there will be no death.

Before anything can be taken away from

you,

you will already have given it.

You will have made it a gift.

There can be no death.

 

For a lover, there is no death.

For a nonlover, every moment is a death,

because, every moment,

something is being snatched away from

him.

The body is disappearing –

he is losing it every moment.

Then there will be death

and everything will be annihilated.

 

What is the fear?

Why are you so afraid of being known?

Even if everything is known about you

and you are an open book,

why do you fear?

How can it harm you?

 

The fear is just a false conception,

given by society,

that you have to hide,

that you have to protect yourself,

that you constantly

have to be

in a fighting mood,

that everybody is an enemy,

that everything is against you.

 

Nobody is against you,

Even if you feel somebody is against you,

he, too, is not against you.

everybody is concerned with himself,

not with you.

 

There is nothing to fear.

This has to be realized

before a real relationship can happen.

There is nothing to fear.

 

 

I always want to hear from you.

 

Lynda

 

Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder & Director of

LIfeUnlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

Life-Unlimited-Blog.com

1 212 595 7373

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Practicing Self-Care: Women are We Killing Ourselves in the Name of Love?

Dr. Lynda Klau

A Call to All Women: more than ever, we need to choose Self-Care as our first priority in order to fulfill our potential.

Dear Woman,

  • Are you more “burned out” than you realize, running on empty most of the time?
  • Are you too drained to be truly present with the closest people in your life?
  • When people ask you how you’re doing, do you say “Great!” even though you’re dragging yourself around with your last ounce of energy?
  • Do you feel like your needs don’t count?

Despite all the progress we’ve made over the years, being a woman today is harder than ever before. Many of us are still victims of a deeply rooted, collective belief that it’s selfish to put ourselves first. No matter how many opportunities we may have gained, we’re often still expected to play the role of major caregiver—not only for our children, but our parents and partners as well.

The whole truth is that today’s woman is serving triple-duty: as a result, there’s less time than ever to focus on ourselves, both internally and externally.

Ultimately, however, nothing—no matter how important the roles we play might be—should come at the expense of our own well-being.

***

When we care for ourselves first and foremost, we become role models—for our children, our partners, and, most of all, for each other. By bringing our whole selves into the equation—rested, playful, creative, sexy, and smart—we build the foundation to do what we need to do in a balanced and harmonious way. This delivers unexpected results: the true joys of creativity, spontaneity, energy, productivity, and love.

This is not selfishness; it is the essence of Self-Care.

***

The Dalai Lama has said it is the western woman who will lead us to the new world.  That’s quite a mandate—and a compliment as well! But in order to do that, we must learn to care for ourselves first, or we will miss the mark and not fulfill our potential.

This means:

So many of us mistakenly believe that Self-Care will be just another large drain of our time and energy—one more set of demands to put on the “To Do” list. But true self-care is actually 180-degrees the opposite.

What would it take for you to make self-care a vital part of your everyday life?

***

I invite you—a woman who cares about herself and her world—to practice Self-Care and to “make our lives our own dance.” Only then will we have the chance of fulfilling our potential as women, walking into the new world, one step at a time.

Here are four exercises to strengthen your Self-Care, from wherever you are:

  1. Shut off all technological devices and sit quietly for five minutes every day.
  1. Do something you consider play “just for you” for at least fifteen minutes per day. This could mean anything: dancing in your living room, reading a book, taking a bath, singing or listening to music.
  1. Ask yourself: what do I really need and want? What really matters to me? Start to make a list of the things you love to do.
  1. Make the following quote your mantra: “Only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go.”

This is the first in a series of articles.

I always want to hear from you,

Lynda

Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder and Director

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

blog www.Life-Unlimited-Blog.com

drlyndaklau@gmail.com

1 212 595 7373

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COUPLES COUNSELING: LOVING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOU

Couple walking with dog

Couples Counseling and Communication

Does this scene sound familiar?  You’re in a relationship. You want your partner to do something for you, but you never expressed your need. Now you’re angry because you didn’t get what you wanted.

At the beginning of our lives, as infants, we can’t communicate what we want. We have no choice but to depend upon others to give us what we need.

But we’re not infants anymore. As adults, we cannot realistically expect our partners to play the role of omniscient parents, magically anticipating and satisfying our needs.

A relationship is called a relationship because we are supposed to be relating, not mind-reading— otherwise, it would be called a “mind-reading-ship.” In order to build a mutually satisfying, mature relationship, each of us needs to:

  • Become aware of our true needs and wants
  • Ask for what we want in a clear and open way
  • Accept the disappointment of sometimes hearing “No”
  • Listen from our heart to what our partner asks of us
  • Ask ourselves what is truly right for us and have the courage to respond to our partner accordingly.

The more you and your partner learn to communicate, share your feelings, truly hear one another, and co-create solutions, you’ll increasingly be able to embrace the differences between the two of you. This paves the way for true love and compassion.

“… Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Dr. Lynda Klau

drlyndaklau, 1 212 595 7373, drlyndaklau@gmail.com

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Marriage Counseling: “Being With” is Severely Underrated

Marriage Counseling: “Being With” is Severely Underrated

Sometimes life places those we love in excruciating circumstances. They might be hurting, sick, grieving, or even dying.

As partners, our natural desire is to fix the problem and take away the hurt. But when we truly can’t “do anything in the face of such awfulness, we often feel helpless and powerless. This can be extremely hard for us to bear.

In situations such as these— in which “nothing can be done”— is there anything we can do?

Yes! We should never underestimate the power of simply “being with” our partner. This means being fully present and receptive to whatever our partner is experiencing without trying to change anything.

“Being with” is simple, yet not easy. Sometimes, it can be too painful to stay “open.” Be kind to yourself.  Notice when you can remain “open” and when you can’t. Don’t judge yourself. If you need to take a moment, do so.

In the darkest moments, this act of “being with” is perhaps the greatest gift we can give.

For more about Marriage Counseling please visit http://drlyndaklau.com/love_relationships.html

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Couples Counseling – Marriage

Couples Counseling: this is what the poet Rainer Maria Rilke has to say on Marriage . . .

couples counseling, couples therapyThe point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

I’m not going to say anything about this. It speaks for itself.
Lynda

Questions for you:

Does Rilke describe your relationship? Does what he says resonate for you? What is one take-away you get from this? Let me know.

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