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.

A heart-centered approach to integrity, accountability, and excellence

Too often we use “integrity” and “accountability” to beat ourselves up — or to beat up other people.

I think we can do better than that.

And after blowing my own word — right after teaching about accountability on a recent men’s weekend — I learned some great new stuff about integrity, accountability, and the state of your heart.

I’ve posted what I learned in the video above.

Integrity is an important tool for creating great things in your life. There’s no doubt about that.

But if you blow your integrity, you must know how to handle it so you can get back on track, feeling even better than before.

… And that’s where most of us fail.

When you blow your integrity, it’s not enough to “own” that you did it. It’s not enough to “get back into integrity” with other people.

You have to look at what happened in your heart when you didn’t keep your word.

In this video I share a new view of accountability that takes your heart into account… Because it does no good to “get back into integrity” with other people, if, deep inside, you’ve given up on yourself.

If you are at all interested in integrity and accountability, I really think you’ll want to watch this video.

P.S. Please share this video with anyone you think might appreciate it. I know it’s an issue a lot of people struggle with; hopefully this will help.

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The fundamental mistake that causes you to lose heart, and how you can avoid it

There’s a Fundamental Mistake at the core of every loss of heart:

Believing that if you can’t see a way towards achieving your heart’s longing, it means that there is no way forward.

There you are, pursuing your heart’s longing. Perhaps it’s to find a great job, or to build a great relationship, or to lose weight and develop stellar fitness.

You’re buzzing along, but then something gets in the way.

There's no way forwardWhat “gets in the way” will vary. It may be that you’ve tried everything you can think of, but still can’t seem to land the job you want. Or it may be that you’ve tried “spicing things up” with your spouse, but your spouse hasn’t responded. Or it may be you tried dieting, but diet food all tastes like sawdust and is flat-out boring to eat.

You hit a problem that is in the way, and you can’t seem to get past it.

In the face of that problem, you make the Fundamental Mistake: On a subconscious level you conclude, “I’ve tried everything, and nothing works to bring me closer to achieving my heart’s longing. Therefore, there must not be a way forward.

And that’s the moment you lose heart. [Read more…]

Everything is Personal

There’s a lot of talk out there about how taking the things of life personally is a bad idea.

And it is.

But we do take things personally, because we are people… and simply deciding to stop taking things personally isn’t going to work.

Let me explain…

You’re a person. I’m a person. Anyone who’s reading this is a person (or perhaps an exceptionally smart dog). 😉

We’re persons, so we have personal relationships. That’s the kind of relationship persons have.

We’re not robots, having robotic relationships. If we were, perhaps we’d be able to just flip a switch and not take things personally any more.

But, like I said, we are persons.

And as a person, not only do you make it personal when things happen to you — you do it in an instant, far too quickly to stop before it happens.

So the question is NOT “how do I stop taking things personally?”

The question is, “How do I handle it when taking things personally is messing up my life?” [Read more…]

Who’s the Jerk Here? A Holiday Story by Dmitri Bilgere

So often relationship problems seem to come down to the question, Who’s the jerk here?

I’m not saying relationships should come down to that. But often they do. People assemble evidence about how their partner is being a jerk. They gather supporters to back up their point of view. And they create plans and take action to put a stop to this jerky behavior, once and for all.

While it’s certainly true that other people sometimes do things that should not be tolerated, it’s dangerous to jump to conclusions too quickly about who the jerk is in a situation.

I’d like to give you a real example from my life, in a little Holiday Story I call,

Who’s the Jerk Here? A Holiday Story by Dmitri Bilgere

Jerky, Jerky Fawn

My wife, Fawn, had been being very unreliable recently (even by her own admission). I’m not going to go into the embarrassing details, but she had been going through a time of frequently saying she was going to do things — sometimes important things — and either not doing them, or putting them off for so long I had to do them for her. [Read more…]

What I learned from Jen’s death

The body, like a mother, is pregnant with the spirit child.
Death is the labor of birth.
And all the spirits on the other side are waiting
To see how that proud birth shall occur
.
– Rumi

[This is a repost of the eulogy I wrote for Jen in 2004.]

My former girlfriend and current close friend, Jen, died Friday, August 13th, 2004 at 1020am.

It was her third round with breast cancer, and this time it metastasized to basically everywhere. She was 33 years old.

I was present with her for her last week in the hospital, and there when she passed. It was amazing.

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"My problem is I’m too nice."

My problem is I\'m too nice!!From time to time I’ve heard people say, “My problem is I’m too nice.”

In fact, I’ve probably said it once or twice myself. 😉

But there’s a problem with saying “My problem is I’m too nice.” I’ve noticed that, most of the time, the people who say it are often the same people who can be overly harsh and sometimes even mean.

Yes, sometimes they are “doormats” for the world, but at other times, if anything, they go overboard with compensating for that, in the pursuit of not being “too nice.”

And in my observation, that has never helped their situations.

Today I’d like to help you get to what is really going on if you find yourself thinking “My problem is I’m too nice,” and offer some guidance of where you really need to look if you feel like you’ve been stuck being a doormat.
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What ONE PIECE OF ADVICE would you give me and Fawn about relationships?

 

This is a video of me and Fawn! We’re getting married August 2nd, 2008. I was really touched by how many people sent emails congratulating us, wanting to be kept “in the loop” for new developments in the work I’m doing, and who sent relationship advice for us soon-to-be newlyweds.  I’m gonna share the advice I’ve gotten so far in a moment, but I also want to extend this invitation. Please add your comment below answering the question:

What ONE PIECE OF ADVICE would you give me and Fawn about relationships?  

Here’s the advice I’ve been emailed so far: 

  • “Marriage is like a prostate exam, a Super Bowl party and the Eucharist all at the same time.”
  • “Scott Peck said there are two reasons to get married; one is to have children and the second is for the friction.”
  • “Enjoy the ride, savour every moment.”
  • “Remember, planning a wedding can case a divorce before you get married. ( joke… but contains a lot of truth)”
  • “Yes, it is a time consuming adventure to integrate two lives, AND the richness and potential goes up exponentially!”
  • “May I say it does limit who you play with from now on (in my opinion). Hence the saying, marry your best friend.”
  • “After 23 years, we keep growing closer and connected, our love still shines.”
  • “As a meaningful gift to you two I would like to suggest the best information on growning a close relationship: ‘The Relationship Cure’ by John Gottman and Joan Declaire http://www.gottman.com/marriage/. And their DVD has been the best investment for me on this subject.”
  • “In the Latin. Ad multos annos: to many years!”
  • “The only thing more important than a marriage is a birth! Oh yeah, death is pretty important event too!”
  • “I find I still have much work to do and in marriage many more opportunities to do my work. The art of forgiveness is a big plus. Knowing ‘this too shall pass’ is great lesson. Remembering the love I have known for the woman I can not understand in the moment holds me present when I want to abandon. Finding the gold in the buttons she pushes, triggers in me about what I wanted in relationship. Recognizing so little else matters if I cannot hold love and respect for myself and the woman I know I love even when the reasons to love are not currently obvious. My Blessings to you. Welcome to the Hero’s Journey.”
  • “If you think life is busy now….wait till you have a kid or two…”
  • “Congratulations!!  If you think the wedding and marriage are big- JUST WAIT TIL THE CHILDREN ARRIVE! (if you’re going there.)”
  • – “Yes, indeed, it really is very time consuming, and it really does take a shocking amount of time and energy! Just remember to stop and breathe every so often, especially when the two of you start feeling too stressed. It really is a wonderful time. Be sure to enjoy it, and don’t forget to have fun on your special day!”
  • – “Just don’t let her go to the Woman Within workshop or she’ll learn all your tricks! :)

 What advice do you have to add? I really am interested… Please add a comment below! Thanks!