I have had the great privilege of meeting and filming some of America’s foremost love and relationship experts when I set off to make my Quest for Love 4 part PBS series. I wanted to explore the mysterious notion of a soulmate, and the subtle destiny of friendship. It is my considerable joy to share with you the most profound lessons I learned about love and its infinite power to transform.
The hard part as by now we may realize is not the falling in love, but the staying in love. That doesn’t come so natural, especially when it requires the focused cooperation of the other party. He does, she does, he says, she says, oops! Where’d the magic go? Back to the drawing board, the dating sites, the desperation of the meet markets.
So here is the straight goods from top experts on relationships and love and sexual attraction on how to light your fire and how to keep it lit. In as few words as possible. I mean who has time to sit around reading volumes when what you really want is to get it on!
The profoundly moving four one-hour Quest for Love show offers powerful suggestions to how to attract the love of your life, how to get a man to commit, how to overcome heartbreak to love and trust again, and how to create a lifelong passionate love affair, even turning mere ecstasy into a five-alarm fire.
So here’s the 5 essential ways to fire up your love life:
1. The Secret to finding a Soulmate – the Magic Key
“The best way to attract somebody,” advises Deepak Chopra, “is to begin to reflect in yourself the qualities of the person that you want to attract. And then you don’t go looking for them. You draw them to you like a flame draws a moth.”
If you’re searching for your soulmate, you won’t find him by looking. Not by looking but by being. That is, if you desire a person with certain qualities to appear in your life, you start by exhibiting those qualities in yourself. Stands to reason, doesn’t it?
I know, I gave up trying to find mine, lost in a minefield of dating that got me nowhere. Then one day, when finding a soulmate was the farthest thing from my mind, the magic happened. I was searching for a place to eat my sandwich at a crowded café at university. I saw this one spot with the most attractive looking man at a table of cluttered paperwork, and asked if I could sit at his table. He stood up, and introduced himself as Gerard Fournier. And as I was about to shake his hand, I thought, ‘Lili Fournier, I’ll take it.’ Now when he burst into laughter I realized I had actually said it out loud. I had always wanted a French name and this was just so perfect.
What started out as a quick bite for me turned into the entire afternoon as we could not unwind our souls from each other. His generosity, his warmth, his open honesty about everything, actually reflected my own feelings of loving generosity at that moment (I started by offering him half my lunch). My open sharing of who I was and my life aspirations, and the warmth that built in me as the hours flew by just ignited my soul. And yes, we’re still married all these later, having travelled the world together and created the most exquisite family.
Imagine! He was just visiting his old campus for an hour having just returned from spending a year in Europe. What if I had come earlier, or later or gone to a different café. When you begin to reflect the innermost qualities of who you are and who you would love to be with long-term, then he/she will take note, and the sparkle in the eyes of both of you will confirm the inner spark. That’s why it’s called a ‘soul’ mate.
Destiny has its own timetable. Your soulmate is out there. I cannot imagine life without him.
2. Romantic Love – is Being with your Anam Cara.
The ultimate gift of romantic love is to be free to be who you really are. This person is here to support you in blossoming into your greatest potential. In Celtic spirituality that is the meaning for Anam Cara, your Soul Friend.
We all long to be swept away. That in essence is the driving force behind romance. We believe in it, we want to be carried away by it, to be carried to some idyllic state of being that will make all the strain and struggle of day-to-day life worthwhile. Yes, we say, I want above all else to ‘fall in love’.
Romantic love is very real! Never listen to the cynics, who say it’s all a ruse, because they have not experienced it themselves. It is real, and it has driven some of the greatest changes in the world, the discoveries, the explorations, the poetry and magnificent works of art, and the endless love stories.
Romantic love is something real, something that women everywhere ‘get’ right away, but which they have to gently lead men to see and appreciate. Sex fine, but romance – that’s the ticket.
“You are your own warrior, you are your own protector,” Barbara DeAngelis teaches to her thousands of followers. “So that’s an understanding I really try to share with people because walking around with those emotional walls that say ‘love hurts me’ is a real misunderstanding. Love never hurts you. It’s not loving yourself that hurts you.”
Think of how turned on you get from reading a romance novel, or from watching a ‘chic flick’.
Now try and find some subtle way of getting your man to feel the same way, to appreciate what is really going on here, so the two of you together can create a romantic love that embraces and unites to spark that enduring fire.
“And the lovely thing about the old love thing is that it is in everyone alike,” poet John O’Donohue says with that intoxicating Irish lilt. “None of us was sent here without it. And part of the old gift of friendship I think is trying to help a person to see where the well of love is in them. And maybe helping them to un-stilt it, and then freeing them to blossom and to be free.”
3. Give in to the Longing to be Swept Away
“What excites us is the being of the other, not their surface, not their looks,” Sam Keen, psychologist and philosopher and trapeze artist says. “That kind of joining. It’s a matter of a mutual giving. Out of the deepest generosity of our being I give you all I am. I give you everything I am. For better for worse. I give you the whole thing.”
Being swept away is a deep soul experience, a kind of joining with another that you enjoy so much that you love their very being. Not the outward appearance solely, but the whole package.
It’s like you have just swallowed some magical potion, an elixir, that tastes divine and makes you become fully alive. It’s a benign drug that helps us realize that true love is a decision to commit myself to you, unconditionally, in every way possible.
“I think probably what everybody wants is to have somebody deeply know them and accept them,” author of Fear of Flying and relationship expert Erica Jong discloses. “What everybody wants is to show some loved person all the tatters inside the coat and have that person say, you are beautiful. It’s okay, I love you. We fall in love with people because we think they know us. We think they know us and that is really the secret. That’s the thing that unlocks love. Somebody knows us, really knows us for who we are, and sticks around.”
“So all the negative sides of ourselves are not things to be cut out by moral surgery,” O’Donohue adds, “but are presences to be called in to the real inner conversation where the magic of integration happens, the fruit of which is the contented heart, which is the dream of everyone.”
We have all at some point or other been swept away, no matter how brief or passing. It quite takes your breath away.
Longing to be swept away is our longing to create and live the life we so want to live. If only we could be that fine artist, the artist who shapes our own life in a way that it’s a great creation. And a real artist is one that confronts the edge of reality where the loneliest darkness meets the richest light.
4. Sexual Energy and Fantasy
“Full sexuality goes way beyond what we do with our body,” DeAngelis says. “It’s about how we deal with our energy in our lives. It truly can take you to your highest goals, both emotional goals and spiritual goals.
“I think most people look at relationship as something to please them, but not truly as a demanding path. When you look at it as an arrangement, the other person is going to disappoint you and not be who you want them to be because that’s really not their job, to fulfill your fantasy. Their job is to interact with you and teach you to be a more loving, giving human being.”
Sexual energy can be defined in many different ways, all in their own way true. So I will let our experts take the podium and explain their take on it.
“Whatever you do, make sure in the relationship that you give as much attention to your sexuality and to the sex between you in a marriage as possible,” therapist Thomas Moore insists. “That’s very, very important. And anything given to it is worth it. That’s how I would put it. So what one can do to keep one’s sex life really vibrant in a marriage is to cultivate a sense of the otherness, and really enjoy and appreciate the difference of the other person.
“I think the soul takes great delight in the fantasies of lovemaking that is very wide ranging. You can look at the Greeks and find that each of the gods and goddesses have a different way of being sexual. We’re all sexual gods and goddesses in some way.”
“That’s the secret,” according to Jong. “The secret for women who are orgasmic, it’s been proven again and again, is that they are women who can fantasize. Men who are horny and randy, are men who can fantasize. There, too, we have a puritan assumption that you must not fantasize with the one you love; it must be real. As if what goes on in your head, in your dreams, in your daydreams is not real. Of course it’s real.” The gift of your sexuality, this mutual giving, is an equal give and take. Sounds like ecstasy.
“What ultimately turns us on,” in Sam Keen’s words, “is someone saying, ‘I really dig who you are. You are quite enough for me.’ That’s marvellous. ‘I like the way you talk. I like your imagination. I like the way you touch me. I like the way you taste. I like all those things about you. I give myself to you freely.’ It’s a matter of a mutual giving. Out of the deepest generosity of our being, and I give you all I am.”
5. Get to being more Loving – Be Kind and Compassionate
Love is the force of greatest realism. So when a person is kind and loving and compassionate towards themselves, there’s nothing emerging from them but kindness, love and compassion towards those around them. And it’s unbelievable really what the presence of one person who is in this mode of loving, what it can achieve and change in a massive situation or among a people.
Look deep into your eyes and discover in what ways you have found love to be:
- Do you think more about the love you desire and long for from others, than the love you freely give to others without strings attached
- Not a romantic fairy-tale but an energizing engine, more powerful than your heart or lungs or intellect in making you feel at home and worthwhile
- When have you found that the more love you give from your cup of love, the more love replenishes your cup. Love is not a finite amount
- If you are longing to be swept away by love in a romance, what steps are you taking to make it happen, to opening yourself up so you feel the call when it comes knocking
I really believe that love is creation’s greatest gift. All we have to do is look at its equally powerful opposite, hate, to see how it tears the world apart with suffering and agony and bitterness. Then we come to appreciate that love is not some cheap sentiment, but the most powerful force in the armament of truth and beauty and well-being.
There is a profound connection between true love and erotic passion, a connection cultivated through the mysterious depths of your soul.
Happy Valentine’s. May you find the love you so richly deserve? I do hope you enjoy the programs. It is a treasure chest of wisdom not to be missed!
With Love and Passion,
Lili & Gerard.