The importance of consistency for scheduling coaching sessions

Evergreen for Christmas

The Evergreen ship – symbol of eternal life

Today we are answering another client question, this time about the perfect timing of private coaching sessions. This client wanted to understand why I believe it is best to have your coaching sessions one week apart, at most two weeks apart. It is not a good idea to put a large amount of time between coaching sessions. So I am going to discuss this issue here.

At the end of this post will be some important announcements about my Intro Session (for new clients only) and the 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program. The investment level for both of those programs is increasing soon. Be sure to read to the end of the post so you don’t miss out on the current rates.

As you may recall, I recently revised my private coaching programs to be almost entirely Bespoke, customized coaching. From here on out, whenever we create one of those beautiful Bespoke programs … customized just for you and your goals … we will be putting an expiration date on the coaching sessions. The expiration date will reflect an intention for us to complete one 80-minute Skype coaching session each week, consistently. At most, we would have two weeks between sessions.

Why am I adding an expiration date to coaching sessions? Good question!

We are adding this policy for the same reason we have so many of our other uber-strict, non-negotiable policies (non-refundable payments, 48-hour reschedule/cancel policy, tough love, etc.). We are doing our best to prevent the ego from sabotaging our progress.

Once we start a coaching program together, we are embarking on a deep exploration of your subconscious mind. During that journey, we are going to be poking around and finding those old, deep, dark, sore spots that you’ve been avoiding for years.

(The truth is, this avoidance succeeded only at a conscious level. In fact, when unconscious trauma and pain is repressed, it gets projected. That means you have not avoided it at all, but it will appear in your life as something “out there” that is attacking or bothering you. This is the subject of my famous article about why avoidance never works.)

As we dig into this deep unconscious material, with the intention of getting it healed for real so that it no longer haunts your waking dreams … things may begin to feel UNCOMFORTABLE. In fact, if you don’t feel uncomfortable in my coaching programs, you would be the rare exception … and we probably need to dig DEEPER.

As things begin to feel uncomfortable, the ego will start prodding you to FIGHT OR FLEE. No matter how composed you may be at the beginning of the program, just wait … The ego is a sneaky devil. It does not want to be unraveled and defeated. It will come up with just about ANY excuse to interrupt our program. Among many other “strategies” the ego has, it will start finding “reasons” why you “don’t have time” to schedule your next session, why it’s “better to wait,” etc. etc. etc.

The ego is doing this because when you allow long breaks in between coaching sessions (or sessions of tapping videos on your own), the ego has a chance to reassert itself. It will bring in new distractions, it will bring in new excuses, it will reinforce your limiting beliefs … The ego will find any way possible to make sure its control over your life continues unabated.

And we are not going to let the ego do this, because I want you to get the most out of your time and money commitment to our program together.

healing with archetypes ganesh

When I was in Thailand in 2013, this image of Ganesh appeared on the wall of the store that gave me visa photos to go to Vietnam. The removal of obstacles was exactly what was happening at that moment.

Unfortunately, if you let the ego reassert itself, you can pretty much count on sabotaging the results we are working so hard to create in your private coaching program. I’ve had a great many clients who wanted to quit right before they got their miracle. That is not a coincidence. It is a very predictable ego sabotage mechanism that the ego uses on a regular basis to keep the “status quo” in place and block miracles.

So, from here on out, when you sign up for the 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program or a Bespoke private coaching program, we will be adding an expiration date to the sessions. We are going to use the ego’s fear of “losing” money to defeat the ego’s strategy of preventing progress. The ego thought it was sneaky. Happily, we are sneakier than the ego. We are going to be relentless in chipping away the ego, until it has no option left but surrender.

Meanwhile, I am going to be raising the investment level of the 80-minute Skype Intro Session and the 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program. The Intro session is the first one that will go up in price, most likely later this week. Get yours now, and let’s get started defeating the ego in your life:

http://tapsmarter.com/new-client-get-intro-session-erika-awakening/

Love,

erika awakening

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Products vs. coaching – Am I wasting my time and money doing both?

Today we are answering a question posted by Hans on the Forum (you can read his post here):

Hi Erika,

If the private coaching session (and audio after that) helps one to continue releasing energies at a deep & specific level, won’t that lead to the challenges tapping videos and gold membership videos be less useful eventually? After all, the tapping videos are not customized to the users, and hence less intense.

Hi Hans,

counting little miraclesThanks for posting on the Forum. The short answer to your question is no. The videos do not become less useful. Private coaching sessions and advanced EFT tapping videos serve very different purposes and work best in tandem.

Let’s get into the reasons why it is essential to get both private coaching sessions and the 30-Day Challenges, to get best results.

1. Spend your money wisely: Covering basic topics in private coaching sessions that are already covered in videos is not a good application of your financial investment.

Think about it. Let’s take for example the 30-Day Abundance Challenge or the 30-Day Personal Power Challenge. In each of those programs, we cover lots and lots of Holistic Belief Reprogramming basic principles and techniques. How many hours of teaching and tapping video is in each one of those programs? Probably around 8-12 hours of video. And some of the advanced 30-Day Challenges have more than that.

In terms of time spent talking, that’s the equivalent of what … 7 private sessions or more … that’s half of a 15-Week Miracle Coaching program.

Why would you want to cover all those basics in private sessions? It’s far more cost effective to learn the basics in videos and then use private sessions for highly customized tapping and advanced topics.

2. “Surrogate” tapping can be far more effective than direct tapping on “your” issues.

Most of my video programs are highly specific, because specific videos are more powerful than general videos. The videos are specific, and many of them are very intense. It’s just that the details are not “your” details. So you may think it’s “less powerful” because it’s “not your issue.”

Not so fast. Remember, the ego is very sneaky. The ego may be doing everything it can to keep you from solving “your” issue. Frequently, entering by the side door (i.e., tapping “his” or “her” issue) is more effective than a direct approach, simply because the ego never saw it coming. Every issue in a video, whether it is “your” issue or not, is YOUR issue. There is some parallel in your subconscious mind. That applies even if the issue is not “your” gender, or “your” socioeconomic status, or “your” country, etc.

So tap, breathe, and let your subconscious mind draw parallels between “your” issues and the issues we cover in the videos.

3. Active vs. passive tapping:

Active and passive tapping have different roles to play in healing. We could write a book about this. I guarantee you, no matter how good you get at Holistic Belief Reprogramming, you will not always feel like guiding your own tapping.

There is an ebb and flow to healing. Some days it is more in the flow to sit back and do passive tapping. That goes for me too, and I recorded the videos! Some days I want to be guided too instead of having to lead and think about what I am going to tap. Then I put on the headphones and tap through a few 30-Day Challenges.

4. Videos greatly increase the amount of tapping you can do in a day.

At this moment right now, I am listening in cordless headphones to the 30-Day Abundance Challenge. Am I tapping? Well, yes. I am tapping on the keyboard as I type this sentence, and the finger tips of each hand are covered with acupressure points. I am actually playing five videos at the same time, another way of confusing and bypassing the ego mind.

Tapping this way is highly effective. I have been amazed how frequently money comes in during or shortly after tapping a bunch of abundance videos while I am accomplishing other tasks. This way I can squeeze in my abundance tapping even when I am too busy with other things to tap on my own.

5. Videos are a great reminder when you forget.

Life happens. Last year when Harvey got really sick and almost died, I was not feeling abundant. I was not feeling powerful. Nearly all of my tapping was focused very intensely on getting Harvey through this crisis, on making sure he did not die. So other important priorities – like paying bills – went by the wayside.

This was not sustainable situation, financially. I had a huge amount of trauma to release from my system. So, when bills absolutely had to get paid, I was very grateful for the videos. The videos reminded me of a more powerful and abundant “self” that I nearly forgot in the middle of this crisis. By listening to the videos, I could remember my power. By listening to the videos, a more powerful version of myself re-taught personal power to the part of myself that had been beaten down by trauma.

Very frequently during this time period, I felt amazed how powerful the videos really are … and grateful that I had it all on video so I could re-teach myself the first principles. The videos reinforce the teachings in powerful ways.

Every HBR video you purchase is a precious and enduring gift that you can give to yourself over and over again.

Then, private coaching sessions allow us to go deeper, get more specific, tailor the teachings. Obviously there is massive value in private coaching sessions, and I encourage everyone to invest in themselves and get private coaching sessions.

So the answer is – you need both, and will continue to use both indefinitely. If I, as the person who recorded the videos, am still getting results time and time again from re-listening … think about it. That pretty much says all you need to know.

Love,

erika awakening

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About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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10 Ways to Piss Off Your Coach and Pay More for Coaching

10 Ways to Piss Off Your Coach and Pay A Higher Rate for Coaching

world peace with Erika AwakeningLet’s not beat around the bush here. I’m a damn good coach. Recently, a client manifested $100K in cash into her bank account after four sessions with me. That is the largest sum of money she has ever had in her bank account, ever. And although she had created an opportunity for that money to “show up” prior to re-hiring me, she was blocked six ways to Sunday about actually letting the miracle manifest. After four sessions, there it was. Miracle unveiled.

She is by no means unusual. I had a client a little while back who worked in the tech field. He worked for slave wages in the tech field for years. We did a five-session series, during which I encouraged him to set his sight higher. He bellyached and told me all the reasons why it was “impossible” for him to get a higher-paying job. Fast forward a very short time after our sessions: he lands a six-figure job for the first time in his life, and as far as I know, he still has it.

I had another client who was selling herself short on helping her family with elder care. I encouraged her to set her sights higher. I helped her negotiate a better deal. Now she has a fixed income, doesn’t have to work a job, and spends a good part of her time on very nice vacations. All of which we negotiated together with the help of our weekly or bi-weekly tapping sessions.

The list goes on and on … The client whose kidney failure started to reverse after a few sessions with me and got a new lease on life. The client who got paid back a seemingly hopeless $90K debt during the 15-Week Miracle Coaching program. The client who manifested back to herself every penny she ever paid me (and she paid me over six figures) in one epic, unexpected money miracle. The client whose father went into a “mysterious” and seemingly “impossible” remission from cancer during the 15-Week Miracle Coaching program (did I mention that we worked on father healing issues in our sessions together?).

Let’s also not forget: I have two cats alive with me right now who were both deemed by veterinarians to be “lost causes,” one four years ago and the other 15 months ago. My coaching method is, quite literally, death-defying.

My work speaks for itself. My work is worth millions and millions of dollars. Indeed, how much would a billionaire pay for their life to be saved? How much is a life worth?

So by all measures, no matter how high a rate you pay for my work, you are getting a bargain. That’s just the simple truth. I have developed a one-of-a-kind, doesn’t-exist-anywhere-else-on-this-planet coaching and healing system. And I have devoted vast sums of money and more than a decade of my life to do it.

I have also spent months not sleeping and living in squalor so that I could save lives when nobody else could do it, and later bring all that skill to each and every coaching session I do with you.

Every coaching session you do with me may be only 80 minutes long, yet it reflects YEARS of my investment in education and experience and dedication that are PRICELESS.

I bring to this work not only a decade of healing experience, but also the vast experience and pricey education I received at Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where I graduated near the top of my class and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. I worked for years as a professional in some of the most prestigious legal jobs this country has to offer.

So … Let’s get something straight. I will be appreciated for the unparalleled devotion that I have brought to developing THE cutting-edge healing system on this planet, or I will have nothing to do with you.

On that note, here are 10 Ways to Piss Off Your Coach And Pay A Higher Rate for Coaching

#1 – Be A Pain in the Ass Instead of A Joy to Work With

Most of the time, I enjoy coaching a lot. When we are working as a team on a grand intention, I am in my groove. This is what I was put on the planet to do. What could be more fun than helping someone manifest miracles?

That is, unless that someone is a pain in the ass. Let’s see, showing up late for coaching sessions, missing sessions, refusing to cooperate in scheduling sessions easily, making excuses about scheduling your next session because you’re letting ego resistance sabotage your (often already very impressive) results.

Unacceptable. The policy already is that you will lose the minutes when you’re late to session, and forfeit the session if you are a no show. Apparently those policies still are not strict enough. In fact, from here on out, we are going to have tight expiration dates on sessions so that this does not happen anymore. I will make one or maybe two efforts to schedule your session. If you make this ridiculously difficult, I will wait for you to commit to a time that will be set in stone. You don’t show up, you lose the session.

Do any of these ten things repetitively, and you can expect that the rate for your next coaching package – if I am even still willing to work with you at all – will be at least five times higher.

#2 – Make Snarky Comments and/or Yell At Me During A Session

Umm, do I need to point out that this is unacceptable? Really? From here on out, anyone who does this, the session will be immediately terminated and you will not be able to make up those minutes.

I understand that my healing work triggers very deep emotional stuff for people, and that the temptation for projection and passive-aggressive lashing out behavior can be significant. Still … unacceptable. Treat me with respect or lose your coaching time and email support.

#3 – Pretend You Got that Amazing Result “All By Yourself”

Ah yes, one of my biggest pet peeves. Oh really? Now that we did these sessions together and you have your six-figure miracle … a miracle you were not able to achieve on your own for months or even years or decades before our sessions … you did it all by yourself and I get no credit for it?

Wow. Why don’t you go back and listen to your endless limiting beliefs and wailing about how you couldn’t do this in the first few sessions that we did? And then tell me you were congruent with the miracle at that time.

BULLSHIT. You got the miracle because I helped you get the miracle.

Fail to give credit where credit is due? Your next package will be priced at least ten times higher. Minimum $100K investment.

#4 – Get Huge Results and Not Write A Testimonial

how to attract money

How to attract money with EFT tapping

This goes with #3. This business relies largely on people understanding the value of the work. Indeed, reliably creating miracles is so far outside most people’s current understanding of the world that what I do simply “does not compute” in their brain. The best way for people to understand the value of the work is to hear from my current and past clients about how it worked for them.

Many of my clients have understood this and have written me spontaneous testimonials, for which I am deeply grateful. You can see some of those testimonials all over this website.

And then there are those gems, many of them the same people from #3, who don’t get it.

You want to fail to give credit where it’s due and make my marketing and outreach efforts 500 times harder by not writing testimonials when they clearly are called for? Your next coaching package will be at a ten times higher rate.

#5 – Have Lots of Money and Treat Me Like the “Hired Help”

Nothing gets my goat more than the stingy rich person. Let’s see, you think it’s going to sit well with me when we spent our sessions tapping about your private jet, your trips to Monaco hanging out with royalty … and then when it comes time to renew your commitment to the coaching method, YOU make money excuses. Seriously?!?

No no, then you have to add insult to injury and ask why my rates are not “competitive” with “the Rolfing guy”?

Wow. Just wow.

You sir, have business experience. You know full well the difference between a COMMODITY like Rolfing, and a one-of-a-kind coaching method that requires thousands of hours behind the scene to produce one 80-minute Skype session.

If you decide you are going to treat me like a commodity, and bitch about the coaching rates when you have far more than you need … then don’t bother coming back until you are willing to invest at least $250K for starters.

#6 – Invest the Money Miracles You Got With Me In Coaching with Douchebags

Yes, this did actually happen. We must remember how strong ego resistance is, and how much it loves to sabotage any real healing. This is why vigilance for ego resistance is so utterly critical to succeeding with this method.

If you manifest six figures with me, and then instead of re-investing in the coaching method that got you that cash … you go out and invest it with a bunch of smooth-talking douchebags who train you how to “control women” (I am not exaggerating).

And then you come back and actually expect that crap to FLY with me …

Holy crap. Wow did I tap a lot of anger. And guess what? You will never work with me again until you pay me not only what you would have been well served to pay me in the first place. I’m going to collect back pay for the tapping I did surrogately in response to your douchey behavior.

Minimum $100K coaching commitment, or I will never speak to you again.

#7 – Make Money Excuses When I Know How Much You Have Because I Helped You Manifest It

becoming fearlessLet’s see, you went from bare subsistence living to a fixed income and lavish vacations! All because of our sessions. And I know exactly how much you have and how it’s spent because … well, because you only have it because you did coaching with me!

Now, you start making money excuses because ego resistance has become high because we were about to get into the real healing work. And you actually expect me to swallow this crap?

Whoa. Jesus Christ. Just how stupid do you think I am?

You are not coming back until you are willing to negotiate for me and our work together the same way I showed you how to negotiate for yourself. $100K minimum coaching commitment.

#8 – Get Great Results and Don’t Post About Them on Facebook and Other Public Places

Your health or finances were saved, and now you are too embarrassed to tell your friends and family how you got the results?

Wow. I am speechless.

$100K minimum coaching commitment.

#9 – Cling Around My Neck and Sabotage My Other Relationships

Yep, we have had a couple of these. Not even worth going into the details. This coaching method is not about co-dependency. You will be expected to do the inner work and the outer work (i.e., action steps that I suggest). If you start getting into gossip, start private messaging me endlessly when you’re not in a formal coaching program with me, or otherwise make my life exceedingly difficult … you will be removed from my life and not coming back until I get back pay for the damage that was done.

#10 – Express Interest in Coaching Programs Without Being Prepared to Make An Immediate Financial Commitment and A Lifetime Commitment to Holistic Belief Reprogramming

Look, although right now I am leaning to work only with clients who make a six-figure commitment, I will still consider working with people who don’t have access to huge financial resources. However, don’t waste my time. Don’t even bother emailing me unless you have already thought through what you CAN offer and are prepared to make a commitment deposit immediately.

Likewise, I never, ever want to work again with a client who gets great results and then does not appreciate and give back to Holistic Belief Reprogramming. This coaching method is about going where no healer has ever gone before, getting results that are currently deemed by this world to be “impossible.” This method only thrives with devoted support from those who have benefited from it.

So from here on out, you want to coach with me, you are making a lifetime commitment to give back to this method – ESPECIALLY if you are one of the many who has had massive life improvements (health, financial, relationship) as a direct result of working with me. I am no longer going to put up with the crap described in this article.

Sign up for coaching with me ONLY if you are prepared to give back generously when you get your miracles. ONLY if you are devoted to healing the planet with this method for a lifetime. ONLY if you are going to be loyal and keep supporting us when the chips are down as they were last year when Harvey the Cat was deathly ill.

I do not need or want “fair weather friends.” I never again want to work with a client who acts in the ways described above. I want to work ONLY with people who think win/win and sincerely want for me and for Holistic Belief Reprogramming the same abundance and success that they desire for themselves.

This coaching method and I will be appreciated, or don’t let the door hit you too hard on the way out.

Except for the Intro session for new clients only, and the famous 15-Week Miracle Coaching Program, all coaching programs are now Bespoke. You treat me as anything less than pure gold, expect to pay a lot more. I will be compensated for any and all bullshit, or we will not work together.

http://tapsmarter.com/coaching

Thanks for listening.

Love,

erika awakening

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Tantric Dating: The Art of Building Passion and Intimacy by Taking Sex Slow

Tantric Dating: The Myth of Fast Sex Revisited

“Sex is a conversation carried out by other means. If you get on well out of bed, half the problems of bed are solved.”

- Peter Ustinov

I am sitting here at my kitchen dining table as I write these words. My new friend is serenading me, singing with his guitar, rehearsing for a performance he has tomorrow by Lake Tahoe. He played for us all day yesterday, and I asked him to play again today. The soulful music is helping me tap in to my desire to write again after a long hiatus.

From across the room, I am inhaling his musky scent, mixed with leather from the couches and earthy rain outside and the hot fire burning in the wood stove. Last night, we soaked in the hot tub endlessly again, talking talking talking. Then we stood in the rain shower, one spigot hot and one cold as has become our ritual, talking talking talking, as the delightful contrast of hot and cold water pours down our faces and bodies. Our conversations light me up inside, because unlike so many people on this planet, he is alive.

Like me, he walked away from the trappings of “success” – prestige, extreme athleticism, the relationship house and business – and reduced his life to absolute simplicity and essence. That’s why it’s so easy to connect. We are both stripped down, naked to our values. There’s not a lot of bullshit in the way. ;)

Our second chakras connected last night. It happened suddenly, when I turned my hips toward his pelvis while we were cuddling. “Wow,” I said, “do you feel that?” He did. Like star bursting from the second chakra on up to the heart in kundalini fire. It felt so intense, it took my breath away. There was no penetration. I can still feel the glow of our connection.

He’s definitely the kind of man with whom I have an intense soul connection. My soul partners are always musicians, athletes, storytellers, with high need for freedom, and their right brain fully engaged. They often live on the fringe of society, like me. They are tuned into the intuitive flow of the Universe, which creates the delightful river of conversation, the outpouring of music, the touch on the skin that brings my whole body and soul alive.

This is how I want to live, where life becomes music whether a guitar is serenading me or not. The conversation is music, the touch is music, the flow of coming closer and moving farther apart, and inviting each other deeper … is all music … and the sex, when it comes will be … well, you get the idea … ;)

(He just looked up from his guitar and asked “is the music helping your writing?” I laughed, because he has no idea what I’m writing. “Yes, it’s helping.” What do you all think, is it helping?)

I’ve had amazing sex in my lifetime. There’s nothing mechanical about it. It doesn’t require a lot of role-playing or pretense … it’s definitely not strained imitation of porn flicks … The more stripped down we both are, emotionally and spiritually naked, the better it is. Amazing sex is always like being carried away in powerful music, losing oneself in the flow of Love and Life. I really don’t see a reason to settle for anything less. That’s why I haven’t had sex, again, for two and a half years.

It would have been easy to rush into sex. The second time we soaked in the hot tub, in the bright sunshine under the towering firs and Jeffrey pines that surround my home, and he touched me for real for the first time … it was pure electricity, and it was mutual. Over the next 24 hours, I felt everything in me opening and coming alive. (Want a glimpse of this aliveness? check out the Facebook video from the next day here, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

It would have been easy to let one thing lead to another … and rush in, without taking the time to get to know each other on a deeper level.

It would have been easy to be carried away with passion, and forgetting about having all those oh-so-important conversations about what kind of relationship we might enjoy, monogamy and polyamory, about keeping the house clean, about money … It would have been easy to rush in without first having some tough situations arise to see how we navigate conflict or anger together … without talking about mistakes we have made in relationships in the past, and how we intend to avoid repeating those mistakes.

It would have been easy to have sex quickly, and it would have been a mistake.

A year or so ago, I made the decision that I would not be rushed into sex, no matter how strong a connection with a man. I feel relieved about how strong I’ve been the past couple of years, as I consistently turned down the sexual opportunities that arose. I said no because it did not feel good. I could see clearly having sex in those situations would leave me in pain and anger. I never want to do that again.

So the connection is building slowly. No more being swept off my feet. Tonight we are going to yin yoga for more flow and presence. Then perhaps we’ll repeat our ritual of making creative moonshine cocktails, soaking endlessly in the hot tub under the stars, and allowing the waterfall of the rain shower to pour over us … Perhaps we will lie naked together on the bed again, breathing deeply and allowing the sexual tension to build and build and build … without acting on it …

And I’m so, so happy we are doing it this way. How could anyone argue that rushing into sex is better than this slow building of connection, intimacy, and sexual tension?

For years, I taught men in the seduction community about authentic connection with
women. In that community, I was a lone wolf voice in favor of not rushing into sex. I myself have practiced celibacy for extended periods of time, as long as nearly five years.

When I wrote about slowing things down, I felt puzzled to be on the receiving end of so much hostility, criticism, and resistance.

Why are we so scared to slow down this process? Do we really think a relationship that is meant to be will fizzle out while building connection, intimacy, and sexual tension?

Just what is it that people are so scared of, they rush into sex … often drunk … before ever talking about anything real? Isn’t talking the real foundation of all of it?

For me, great conversation is so exhilarating that it’s right on a par with amazing music, with amazing sex, with transcendent enjoyment of every kind … Why are we not all starting there? I call it Tantric Dating. It’s time to slow the f*ck down and build it …

What do you think?

Love,

erika awakening

Say Goodbye to Being Swept Off Your Feet: A New Approach to Dating

I am not the same person I was a year ago.

Over the past few years, I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in solitude and celibacy. No need to roll out the pity party. After all, like many of you, I’ve been on a quest for personal transformation. Let’s face it, it’s not easy to break free from a lot of unconscious programming if we continue on in relationships that reinforce that programming.

And what area of our lives is fraught with more co-dependent and unhelpful programming than intimate relationships? After all, look around. Even the relationships held up as models for the rest of us are often only “perfect” on the outside. Look a little more deeply, and you will often find a whole lot of unexpressed despair, rage, and co-dependency. I should know, being a life coach for such a long time. People often tell me the secrets they don’t tell anyone else.

For much of my life, like many women, I dreamed of being swept off my feet by a perfect lover man. We get programmed very early with Cinderella and Snow White. Heck, I was wooed by some of the most seductive men on the planet. I even allowed it to happen, a few times, through what in retrospect was suspension of disbelief. I wanted to believe it could be real.

And I got burned. Badly.

After all, I have values that are really, really important to me in relationships. Values like trust, honesty, integrity, keeping agreements. Oh yes, that pesky expectation of keeping agreements, that’s a really big one for me. For me, the feeling of crushing disappointment after counting on someone to do something – especially someone I really loved – and they don’t follow through … is up there on my list of never-want-to-have-again feelings.

Trust, honesty, integrity, keeping agreements … those values are not in the repertoire of men who “sweep you off your feet.” The man who sweeps you off your feet is a con man. That’s who he is.

With a lot of solitude and celibacy, I was able to step back from my childhood Cinderella fantasy with a lot more honesty … When I was really honest with myself, I could see that What I found with being swept off my feet was only disappointment. Men with no integrity, who could not keep their word to save their lives. The betrayal seared me. It almost destroyed me. Maybe they too wanted to believe their lavish (in retrospect, rather grotesque) fantasies, or maybe they were even more cynical than that. Either way, it left me wanting never to have sex or romance ever again.

So I released and released and released. When Harvey the Cat was really sick this past year, there was no time or energy for taking a shower much less dating. I barely slept for several months, barely left my apartment for the better part of a year. Getting even the most basic tasks done was almost impossible. There was only wall-to-wall healing, week after week, month after month. Only God and I know how many thousands of tears were shed, releasing so many lifetimes of grief to save Harvey’s life.

I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am almost unrecognizable as a person, after being in the crucible this past year. I’m approaching myself now almost the way I would a stranger, not knowing the answer to so many questions. What do I like to do? Who am I? How will I move forward from here? I don’t know.

What’s very, very clear though, is that I have absolutely no interest in being swept off my feet by a man. Never again. I will keep both my feet firmly grounded on the earth, thank you very much :)

Now being a stranger to myself, and so not knowing how to expect myself to behave or think or feel, I went out on the town a few weeks ago. I wrote about it in my newsletter, as some of you who are on my list may remember. What seemed to be the highlight of that night was practicing assertive communication, ala the 30-Day Communication Challenge, with another woman.

I did though meet a man that night too, briefly. It was quite random. And while we did exchange Facebook information, there really was no reason for him to know that I found him intriguing. Not as someone to sweep me off my feet. As a human being. He’s a renegade, like me. Living on the fringe of society, outside the lines. Like me.

And so, since he is a hermit, and I am a hermit, after a couple weeks went by, I found myself feeling drawn toward connecting with him. What’s more … gasp … I went ahead and made the first move to see if he would like to get together. He seemed very excited about it. I didn’t know how he would react. He might have blown me off, and I might have let the fear of that stop me from asking for connection … How many opportunities do we miss in life because of the “roles” we expect each other to play?

Remember, I don’t know myself anymore. So instead of following rules or roles, I did was in my heart.

I’m so glad. We went out for Cinco de Mayo. I didn’t know it was Cinco de Mayo until people started mentioning margaritas. What I did know is that, without any expectations of being swept off my feet, we were having a beautiful, amazing, dynamic, energizing conversation. He super graciously paid for my dinner, even though I had been the first to reach out. Then, it seemed nobody wanted the evening to end. So we went up the street for margaritas, which I was going to pay for but could not get the bartender to accept the cash. (I have a long history of the Universe giving things for free.) They were seriously the best margaritas I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m sure the taste was enhanced by the amazing company and conversation.

Today we saw each other again. Was it some hot and heavy intense seduction? Nope. We hung out in my garage and made a new insert out of glued-together styrofoam scraps for my sagging hot tub cover. And talked, and talked, and talked. While we wound yards and yards of duck tape around our makeshift insert. Then we celebrated by taking a dip in the hot tub. Where we talked some more.

It was glorious. There were no expectations. There was no pressure. I felt super grounded. It was fun.

I will not be swept off my feet. Any relationship that develops in my life now is going to develop in alignment with my deepest values. Honesty, trust, integrity, keeping agreements. Day by day, long before any deep physical intimacy, stone by stone, DIY project by DIY project, the foundation will be built first. Or it won’t go anywhere.

I will never again allow my life to be capsized by a little boy in man’s clothing. Those values – trust, honesty, decency, keeping agreements, mutuality, integrity – are not negotiable. The responsibility for keeping things grounded and everything moving glacially slowly, is on me. It’s a responsibility that – after all I’ve been through that took me to the brink of despair – I happily accept and embrace.

That means getting swept off my feet, is no longer in the cards.