The Calisthenics of Love


There are 3 parts to the experience Love, and 3 distinct skills of love to master. Find out where you are strong in Love, where you are weak, and the simple steps you can take to master all 3 parts of the experience of Love.

Transcript of the video:

Hi. This is Dmitri Bilgere, and I’d like to talk to you today about the three parts of the experience of love in your life. So much of the work that I do with people is about helping them connect with their experience of love, and I’ve found that when you understand these three parts, or phases, of the experience of love, it actually really helps you bring it into your life.

So what are these three parts?

The first part is: How does love come in to you? How do you receive it? 

So this is really the question I’m asking: When you open yourself to whatever you call it–your blessing current, the love of the universe, God’s love, the love that other people have for you, that the people in your life who love you have for you–when you open yourself up to that loving, blessing current, what is your experience of that like? Do you find that you’re really good at opening up to that and letting that come in and letting that maybe touch the parts of you that are having a difficult time, letting that buoy you up? Or is that more difficult for you to really allow blessing and love in?

This “in” part is the first of the three parts, and it’s important. So that’s my first question for you: How are you at letting that love in?

Second question: Once you take it in, how do you experience it? How do you hold that experience of love, or blessing, or goodness inside of yourself? How does it fill you up? If the act of letting it in is inspirational, how does it fill you up and make you know that you are loved and you have love? That you are blessed and you have blessing?

This is an important part. This is a lot where self-esteem and the ability to believe that you can do things lives. The belief comes from this sense of, “I’m filled up with love and I can dwell in it.”

I’d like to suggest you think of it as a suit of clothes you can step into. If it coming in is somebody giving you the clothes, the experiencing of it–how you hold it inside–is how you wear and put on that sense of blessing and that sense of love.

What’s that like for you? Are you strong in that? Or is that a place where you could use some practice?

 And then the third part is: How does it go out from you? When you’ve said, “Yes, I’m going to allow blessing and the blessing current and love into me,” and you’ve said, “Yes, I’m actually going to experience it inside myself. I’m going to let it fill me up and I’m going to have it,” then you have to ask, what is it like as it flows out into your world? How good are you at loving others? How good are you at blessing your life, both the way it is and having sort of that esteem to believe that, “Yes, I can step out into my plans. I can actually try new things. The love that comes into me and fills me up can flow out into the world.”

It’s a calisthenics you can practice

So as you evaluate yourself, you can ask, “Where am I strong?”

A lot of people I work with are really good at giving love to other people. They’re less good, however, at receiving it for themselves.

Or maybe they can receive it for themselves, but it doesn’t seem to stick with them. So they have an experience where they’re loved or an experience where they feel blessed, but it doesn’t hang around.

Or maybe they’re really good at feeling a lot of esteem for themselves, but they’re not so good at giving it to other people, or trying something new in their lives and believing that that something new can go well.

So I want to suggest to you that each of these is a discrete experience you can open yourself up to.

  • What’s it like when it comes in? How good are you at that?
  • What’s it like when you experience it and hold it? How good are you at that?
  • And what’s it like when it flows out?

If you’re only good at one part of this, see how it feels to go to the others. Very often I work with people who are good at loving, but not so good at receiving love, so I’ll say, “Great. This love is coming out of you. Imagine you’re loving someone you love or something you love. Feel how for that to happen you have to be filled up with love. And feel how for you to be filled up with love, that has to come into you from somewhere else. And you can get those links in the chain. Now feel how it feels to move from the loving out to the holding love inside for you. Feel how it moves from that to the sense of receiving it as it pours into you. And feel it coming back to you. And feel it going out.”

It’s almost like a calisthenics you can do to get better at the three parts of love. Because I want to see you being able to turn in the moment and receiving love and blessing from the people who love you, from the universe, from whatever higher power you believe in. I want to have you be able to really fill up with it and walk around in your life with this sense that you’re filled to the brim with love and blessing. And I want you to really be able to let that spill out into your life so you can give it to others, so you can create a better world for you and for the rest of us.

So let me know what you think in the comments. Ask any questions, give me your opinions. And this is Dmitri Bilgere, until next time, signing off.

About Dmitri


  1. Hi ,,loved this and notice how i was feeling while watching and listening.
    I come away with a new view of love , in a way…You mention How it feels to feel when I am loving someone.. It suggests action rather than a passive, not in my control kind of energy… I am wondering now, If i really know how to love and what love is? I may have been needing , attaching, rather than loving.
    hmmmmmmm….. feeling a little scared and shaky at that statement…..

    • The thing about the experience of Love is, it’s always a discovery.

      It could very well be different every time you experience it — every time — for the rest of your life.

      That’s part of the magic that we can get ever better at experiencing.


  2. Hi,
    Great subject and for me quite a poignant one too, I know I really struggle to receive love, blessing or feedback of “my gold”. It is often quite painful to receive and I become tearful and struggle to hear it voiced. I can sometimes hold it but often let it pass through virtually unnoticed or fleetingly. But find it quite easy to do things for others I love or care for, generally finding it easier to give than receive.
    So how do I do the calisthenics? By remembering past experiences and re visiting them to re-experience the feelings and focus on the weaker parts/processes?
    Thanks for the videos, they’re great. Chris………….

    • Hi Chris,

      I’d suggest doing the “calisthenics” exactly as I described in the video:

      Imagine you’re loving someone you love or something you love. Feel how for that to happen you have to be filled up with love. And feel how for you to be filled up with love, that has to come into you from somewhere else. And you can get those links in the chain. Now feel how it feels to move from the loving out to the holding love inside for you. Feel how it moves from that to the sense of receiving it as it pours into you. And feel it coming back to you. And feel it going out.

      Let me know your experience of it.


  3. Eric Belsey says:

    Dmitri, I’ve been getting your emails for years, since I saw you at an MKP-connected workshop. (I am no longer associated with MKP, another story I’ll share in a PM if you are interested)
    So let me condense down a long reaction to this post, and it has to start with a little wound worship. So my problem is that I was raised in a very stable family that slowly but surely climbed the ladder of economic success and security. My parents stayed together, and were very liberal Democrats, Unitarian Universalists, and while they are both alcoholics, it’s of the very high-functioning variety, they were never abusive, verbally or physically, they were the picture of support. I have a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Naropa and I am an urban farmer and musician, 41, and I live at home with them, kind of by choice, complicated deal there.
    Anyway, here’s my quibble, this line: “And feel how for you to be filled up with love, that has to come into you from somewhere else.” So it took me years, with all of this apparent surface stability I was raised with to make a very important realization: that “love” is a verb. That loving is something you do. We may be able to give love the noun, but even that is the act of giving really. And that I had not truly experienced love as a verb, being the youngest child of 3 of a mother who was neurotic wreck, and a distant father. Years of inner work on the cushion and in all kinds of mainstream and alternative therapeutic settings helped me realize this. And the core of the realization, is that, burned into my cells is this deeply painful but real perception: help is not on the way. If I have the slimmest chance of receiving love from “someone out there” it will only come because I’ve successfully figured out how to give it to myself first. I literally sit on the cushion and visualizing holding, rocking and loving that little baby. I have one divorce under my belt, and I have a girlfriend who I don’t see very often. I actuallly need a level of intimacy and compassion that most women are unwilling/incapable to offer, and that of course scares the shit out of me too. The fact that my romantic situation reflects my inner “certainty” that help is not on the way doesn’t surprise me at all. But I’m working at it.
    So anyway, I read this whole thing with intense skepticism, because it seemed to be written from the POV of someone who is used to receiving love “from somewhere else” , and needs only to re-open to that. My situation seems different.
    Eric Belsey

    • Hi Eric,

      I think I’m hearing you.. And I do NOT mean to say that one needs to “only” re-open to the flow of love.

      “Only.” That makes it sound pretty simple. Pretty much not a big deal. Just flip a switch, right? Open to the flow! Will it into existence!

      IT’S NOT EASY.

      HOWEVER, in my experience with myself and those I work with, thinking in terms of a flow you CAN discover how to open up to is a GOOD IDEA.

      I can’t speak for your experience, but often I see clients who’ve had this experience.

      – They’ve felt cut off from a flow of love. They’ve been disappointed and angry about that.
      – They’ve heard about this “flow of love,” and have looked for it.
      – They didn’t find it when they looked. And maybe they looked a LOT.
      – And not having found it, it reinforces their disappointment and anger, cementing the conviction that nothing is there for them.

      What I’ve seen happen then is this: When they go to “look for it” again, they actually aren’t looking anymore. They actually are looking at their anger and disappointment…

      Which reinforces the whole thing.

      For the folks I’ve worked with, they’ve needed to get honest about how angry they are about not getting the Love they’ve needed, before they can honestly say, “I haven’t seen the love I want yet, but I am NOT done looking.”

      Otherwise they aren’t actually looking for the flow of love. They are being in their entirely understandable anger, and looking for reasons why that anger is the “last word” in their lives.

      I have no idea if this is your situation. Really. What I describe is simply what I’ve seen in my clients sometimes.

  4. Eric Belsey says:

    And, as a quick addendum, if you’ve experienced “love as a verb” it can be hard to understand or even empathize with those who haven’t.You can’t know something is missing until it’s missing. Or it may be easier to empathize with those whose early home life was overtly abusive or economically neglectful. The idea that someone could “have everything” except this essential felt experience, is hard to accept, so being driven to work with it can seem like whining or “living in the past.”

  5. Bob Garrett says:

    I love the constant theme in your work of my being a vessel and a channel for “the blessing current/etc.” My understanding of being a mature person is that I have moved from my egocentric position to a place where my ego is in service to a “transpersonal other.” In my judgment, the closer I come in my own maturation to the feeling that my whole life and actions were really my being an agent for Spirit, the more I approach being a true Elder. Your work concentrates on that point where my human Self reaches towards the Divine and the Mystery reaches into this physical world to interface and connect with me. Thank you. Bob Garrett

  6. Hi Dmitri, another great post thank you. I know you’re not explicitly saying that it is, but I think love’s not a zero sum game. I agree it’s important for me to receive love, in order to hold love for me and to give love, but I think the total amount of love grows when it flows through me.

    Also, I love the transcript because I’m always reading your posts on my phone. Might you consider including the transcript in the email you send out to those of us on the mailing list? The mail client on my phone makes it much easier to read your content than my phone’s web browser.

    • Thanks Alex!

      I composed a longer answer here, but wordpress ate it. RRrr!

      I’m experimenting with the transcripts. I’ll certainly take a go at sending it in the email if I keep it up!


  1. […] You can also read a transcription of the video at Dmitri’s website: Live the Life You Long For […]

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