Archive for the ‘Love Stories’ Category

A Story of a Soul Connection: Jo & Ron

October 30, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (0)

Though not a couple in the romantic sense, Joanna Gawn and Ron Dickerson write novels, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry together (through the pen name The Lazuli Portals) and definitely share what we consider a “soul connection.” The core themes woven through their novels are spiritual awakening, synchronicities, crystals, friendship, developing intuition, and the incredible power of universal energy and unconditional love. They also explore other related areas of the paranormal.

How did you meet, and how did you know that this relationship was unique?

Ron: Jo became a partner, then wife, of a long-term friend, known through the MG Owners Club. I think we first met at a camping rally and got talking when Jo was not feeling too well. We discussed ‘healing’ (the only word I had then) and I offered support.

Unique, well yes. Walt (Jo’s husband) knew of my… shall we say ‘flirtatious’ manner. However, having a woman as a friend has allowed me to find new areas of me that were probably hidden, made me more open?

Jo: I’ve always sensed very early on when a relationship is going to be important to me (including the one with my husband!) but in this case I was a bit wary. The sense of connection, of already having known one another for years (rather than minutes), was both overpowering and confusing – at least for me!

I also felt that having a male friend might be a bit ‘risky’ – I didn’t understand back then that men and women could be close without romantic complications, that there could be a different ‘purpose’ for ‘soul connections’. (I didn’t know about soul connections back then, either!)

So despite both feeling ‘strongly connected’ we proceeded cautiously, and it took some time before we felt confident enough to be in touch more often.

Jo & RonDo you feel that you’re connected on a soul level?

Ron: Soul: now I have thought long and hard about my understanding of that word. Between a symbiosis of a continual energy force and a body, through to a religious connotation, and on to an entity created by self-awareness. So I cannot really answer, because I do not fully understand the term. But we accepted each other from day one and trust each other. There is a connection beyond that of ‘normal’ which allows us both to be very happily married to our partners and maintain a strong working and ’emotional’ connection.

Jo: Absolutely. On a personal level we’re best friends, while on a professional level we’re writing and business partners. I don’t really know how to describe our soul connection beyond that, except to say that there’s an instinctive understanding that it’s ‘right’, valuable, and worth protecting. We invest in it, work at it, take care of it.

What is one of the most meaningful experiences you’ve had together?

Ron: Probably discussing our varying understandings of Redfield’s book The Celestine Prophecy; it really led to everything else, including our own books!

Jo: Yes, the shared journey of reading and discussing The Celestine Prophecy, and its sequels. Learning about energy, synchronicity, control dramas, and unconditional love (like the acceptance and love we offer family and pets) has been life-changing. These have been core themes in our own novels. That learning continues, of course (therefore so will the novels!).

How do you feel that you or your readers benefit from your relationship?

Ron: Do we benefit? (Joke, Jo!) To have someone at hand to bounce ideas off and know you will get an honest response with no agenda issues is invaluable. Ask Jo about agendas. :-)

Jo: Our very different life experiences and approaches have made for some interesting “discussions” (!) and also some powerful energetic shifts on a personal level. Our connection also includes a lot of mutual support, and fun.

As for our writing, I believe we have a synthesis that enhances what we write individually. The whole is better than the sum of its constituent parts! And our joint interest and experiences in energy healing and the metaphysical lends itself well to crafting our visionary fiction novels, which are intended to entertain as well as empower and enlighten. Not that we plan them: it’s more like tuning in and downloading, at least for the first draft! ;)

What was that about agendas, Ron? Did you mention spreadsheets and task lists, too? Yes, I like to be organised. Collaborating on long-term creative projects when you live 30 miles apart can be an interesting process, especially with Ron having such a busy lifestyle, and me having ongoing health issues. :)

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

Ron: To wind each other up with no recrimination? Sorry – it must be to get our ideas into our books, and read and hopefully used to empower.

Jo: That’s a definitive Yes!

Synchronicity brought us to that car rally, and Ron’s healing support deepened my budding interest in subtle energies. Initially this led to my first Reiki attunement, then later I started my own business focusing on serving others with Reiki and energy healing. It changed my life – and would soon offer me a soul-driven direction for my writing.

I had a burning desire (overpowering need) to craft stories, to write novels – but lacked focus.

As my friendship with Ron progressed, and we read The Celestine Prophecy series, worked with subtle energies, and discussed the metaphysical, I suddenly found that focus. Feeling incredibly inspired, and with Ron’s encouragement, I wrote Chapter One of what would become The Cordello Quest. After reading it, Ron emailed me back, demanding that I write more.

What a moment that was! And how synchronistically our experiences came together at that point (November 2010). Fusing storytelling with love and light and spiritual growth was exactly what my soul needed, and had been waiting for. We’ve written as a duo ever since.

I feel writing in the genre that we do really needs passion as its fuel, and trust and openness as its foundation. That needs a soul connection, in my view.

What challenge have you faced together?

Ron: Just together and remaining very good friends is challenging enough!

Jo: I agree! Being best friends and business partners is a double challenge in itself, but when that business involves a creative process as well, then there is definitely some potential for ‘difficulty’! That’s where the foundation of ‘unconditional acceptance’ (what some would label ‘unconditional love’) becomes so important. It gives you the confidence to be fully open and honest with one another, and to work through all the issues that inevitably arise, knowing that you’ll weather the storm and come out smiling.

What are you each learning from your relationship right now?

Ron: That learning never stops?!

Jo: That learning never stops! Oh, Ron’s already said that! ;)

Greater compassion, understanding, and patience. A deeper trust in the unfolding flow of Life.

What advice can you offer other others who work or have a business together?

Ron: Find your own balance, trust and be open.

Jo: Good advice – and those can all take time. There may be bumps along the way, but have faith in your connection and your purpose, and you’ll keep making progress, and hopefully continue to serve and empower others as you do.

Is there anything else about your relationship that you’d like to share with us?

Ron: Really just how much we appreciate Walter’s and Maureen’s (our spouses) understanding in giving us the time they do.

Jo: So very true. We couldn’t write and publish what we do without their understanding and support. Thanks, Walt and Mo!

Learn more about The Lazuli Portals through their website, blogAmazon, and Twitter. Download their free ebook Crystal, Fire and Water.

The Lazuli Portal books

Mali Apple & Joe DunnThank you, Jo and Ron, for sharing your friendship with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love.

 

A Love Story: Michee & Tracey

September 14, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (2)

Michelle Williams (Michee) is a life coach and health coach who helps clients lose weight, overcome low self-esteem, find their life’s purpose, set up their business, and fulfill their artistic and creative potential. She is also a writer, blogger, poet, avid cyclist, partner of the brilliant jazz musician Tracey LaRoy Kirk out of Chicago, and last but by no means least, mum to two beautiful grown-up children. Learn more about Michee at www.SharingSelfImprovement.com and join her on twitter at @MicheeSSI.   

michelle and tracey

I’ll start with this wonderful quote by Maya Angelou:

“Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life.”

For me, my partner Tracey is the visible manifestation brought forth from this invisible force as the soul connection in to my life. I think about us as two souls divinely ordained. A beautiful, special connection and bond on all levels. Not a perfect person but perfect for me in every way.

My best friend who appreciates the multidimensional facets of my being. He sees my strength but also sees my vulnerabilities. He sees my confidence but sees how delicate and sensitive I am too.

I also see him in his entirety. And I accept him for who he is and enjoy the unfolding of the person he is destined to become.

Our soul connection is so many things but what I enjoy mostly is that it allows me to be me. I can be sexy, sassy, successful, feminine, free-spirited, courageous, creative and loved for who I am. Not someone else’s interpretation of who they “think” I should be, or where I should or shouldn’t fit, but a healthy celebration and acceptance of me.

I feel most soulful when I am with Tracey. He creates a space for me to feel safe, always. I never worry about him compromising me in any way. He is funny and makes me laugh with his really silly jokes. He knows just how to put a smile on my face.

Being together makes me feel youthful. Even though we are both over 48 years of age, when I look at him I see a youthful energy, a playfulness that flows effortlessly.

When we are out together, he constantly holds my hand and gently kisses it periodically as if to reassure me that my place is permanently reserved on his pedestal, way up in the sky!

A soulful connection between the sheets goes way beyond sex. With him, it feels like two souls making love to the pulsating rhythm of passion itself. Our mind, body and soul perfectly in sync. It is as though he is tuned in to my body’s desires and knows how to satisfy me with every touch and caress.

And after making love, he gently wraps his strong arms around me like he ain’t never letting me go. And I know in my heart, he ain’t never letting me go!

I am soulful with him because we share and bare ourselves intimately. We talk about everything from politics to past relationships, from evolution to deep emotions. We’re okay to be naked and vulnerable, to be afraid, to open old wounds, to explore possibilities and to define our world with each other’s love placed firmly at its core.

I am his angel, he is my shield. I am his shoulder, he is my pillow, so fluffy and soft that I could just melt into him forever!

passion

Mali Apple & Joe DunnThank you, Michee, for sharing your soulmate experience with us—we are inspired by your example of what a truly soulful connection is all about! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love.

A Love Story: Betsy & Warren

August 20, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (2)

This guest post comes courtesy Betsy Talbot. Betsy and Warren Talbot are the authors of four books, including Married with Luggage: What We Learned About Love by Traveling the World (download the first chapter for free here). They host the popular weekly podcast, Married with Luggage, where they provide advice and stories about creating a happier relationship together. When they aren’t traveling, they are writing and cooking at their sunny home in Andalucia, Spain. Click here to sign up to receive their weekly insights to creating a happy and healthy relationship, one adventure at a time.

betsy & warren

Have you ever had a small explosion of understanding in your relationship, a moment that results in light years of growth in a matter of moments? While it is hard to plan for that kind of an “a-ha” moment, being open to finding one makes it more likely to happen. Soulmates do that, and aspiring soulmates can learn to do that.

Our marriage hit rock bottom in 2005 via the usual route – neglect. But before going our separate ways we decided to put our relationship first to see if we could save it…and we did. In the years since, our partnership grew with a cross-country move, working through serious health scares with people we love, a resulting decision to sell everything and travel the world, and then to writing books together and renovating an old home in Spain.

We made the transition to soulmates through dedication and work, and we’re still learning lessons about each other. Today I want to share one of those small insights that helped us see each other clearly for perhaps the first time.

Two years ago we spent August with another couple at a 100-year-old farmhouse nestled in the hills of Slovenia near the Austrian border. They were housesitting for the summer, and as we traveled through Europe by train they invited us to visit for a week.

In the old-fashioned kitchen at this farmhouse, right next to a giant radio from the 1930s, I sorted vegetables from the overflowing garden with our friend and had a long conversation about marriage and communication. These kinds of talks are easy to have when you’re away from home and routine and in the easy company of good friends.

My husband Warren walked in to get an apple, and he overheard part of our conversation. He didn’t say a word, and I thought nothing of it. Later that night as we nestled in under a handmade quilt to fight off the evening chill, Warren told me fireworks went off in his head as he walked out of the kitchen. He said he understood more about me in those 60 seconds of accidental eavesdropping than he had in the past 10 years.

The reason? He learned I was an introvert.

You see, I’d been telling him that for years, but he thought “introvert” meant “shy” – and I’m definitely not shy. When he heard me explain to my friend that I gain energy from being alone, as opposed to an extrovert like him who gains energy from being around other people, he said he finally understood me – and realized all the ways he’s been misunderstanding me over the years.

I’m like an iPhone battery that drains a little with every interaction; he’s like a solar panel who stores power when in the brightness of other people.

He thought my need for personal space was often a rejection of him personally. That my preference for thinking things through before discussing was me being too independent to work together, or that I thought I was smarter.

On the flip side, I often felt badgered by him to always talk things through or address so many things out loud. Sometimes I felt smothered by his need to be together and talk so much.

As we snuggled under the blanket and whispered together into the night, I realized he had just as much of a right to honor his extrovert tendency as I did for my introvert tendency. But how were we going to do that without changing who we were?

What we finally realized was that we were taking each other’s energy style personally, and it caused problems in how we interacted on a daily basis, solved problems, worked together, and even fought.

Talk about a lightbulb moment.

We’ve spent years taking big steps in our relationship: Coming back from the brink of divorce by completely changing our lifestyle and location, spending two years saving money and getting rid of everything we owned to travel the world, and learning to write and work together as business partners as well as lovers.

But sometimes the greatest growth comes in small moments like this, when a realization illuminates life and love in a totally new way. We looked back to the past at all the times we misunderstood each other’s intentions and responded inappropriately, hurting our relationship. And then we looked forward to the future when we wouldn’t make that mistake again.

There is no doubt we have a strong partnership. We’ve weathered bad storms together (literally and figuratively), changed our lifestyle completely – twice!, created books together, and relied on each other totally as we’ve traveled the world. But there is nothing we’ve done that rivals the impact of of this small discovery in our communication styles.

Warren isn’t hounding me; he wants to connect with me.

I’m not avoiding him; I want to recharge so I can be at my best for him.

And now that we know where we’re each coming from, we can better work together to get where we’re going.

Mali Apple & Joe DunnThank you, Betsy and Warren, for your fabulous example of how we can CREATE a soulmate experience through the power of our intention! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

A Love Story and a Dedication: Ron & Phyllis

July 29, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (2)

Ron and Phyllis have been loving fans of and contributors to The Soulmate Experience Facebook page since it began. Ron recently lost Phyllis to cancer. He asked us to share some of his words and photos as a reminder to everyone never to take for granted the time you are blessed to spend with your loved ones.

Phyllis & Ron

“I want to remind people that there is no tomorrow for those you love. Take today as the only one you have.”

“I was with her to her last breath. 
As hard as that was, it was the most loving experience I have ever had.”

Phyllis

“You all would have loved this beautiful woman.”

“Phyllis encompassed and lived the word LOVE in every moment of her life. Phyllis was love, is love, she defined it better then anyone I have ever known.”

“My Phyllis has passed on and is no longer in pain. She was without a doubt an Angel, a light unto the world. I will forever be grateful for the time I was allowed to spend with her. She will be deeply and sadly missed but never forgotten. I will always love her.”

Phyllis“No words can truly convey how empty I feel now that you have passed on. I have been going through the pictures of our many journeys that we have shared together and the tears rain down. I did not have enough time with you and so much of it I wasted with my own fears of failing again. But you never gave up on me… When I could not face you, you would pick my head up and tell me you loved me, would always be there for me… God has created no greater woman than you Phyllis. As hard as it was to watch you hurt so much, it was the most intimate moment in my life. I was blessed to be there with you. It hurt but it answered for me the question we have both asked, Why? To see you at peace after you passed on, to see a little smile after all that pain, brought some peace to me.”

“You have put up with my childish ways, stayed strong when I wanted to run, laughed at my strange humor. I love you more than you know.”

“The world needs the light Phyllis shines on the world.” 

Daughter & granddaughter“You have raised two fantastic beautiful children, and in them those that have never met you will experience a little of what all your friends and family and I have. Your relationship with your granddaughter is something I shared with so many. I just loved to watch and listen to you whisper stories to her as you held her as a newborn. I remember that day we truly connected at a level so deep and we both knew it; what an amazing feeling. I could go on for days about how special you are…” 

Phyllis & sonRon created a video in honor of his beloved Phyllis:
Forever Loved • Always Missed
About his video, he says: “If this has touched you, then you have been touched by the same love and compassion that captured. Don’t waste it. Use to make the world a better place.”

Phyllis

There is no tomorrow till you’re there. “How this sits so deeply in me now, its meaning truly understood. Set aside your petty differences, for that is truly what the vast majority of them are. Love with all your heart and don’t hold back ’cause tomorrow there may be no one to hold! I regret my missed moments but am deeply forever thankful for the moments we did share.”

Cherish every moment. You never know when it will be the last time you see someone. “The weight of this hits home every day. Do your best to make sure it’s not your weight.”

“I love you Phyllis and always will. 
I will do my best to live the rest of my life in a way that honors you.”

Sunset over the Gate

In gratitude to you both for sharing your love with so many. ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience and the forthcoming book The Soulmate Lover

A Love Story: Gwynne & Jeremy

May 14, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (3)

In early 2010, I lost my house. I’d been buying it on land contract, and the man I was buying it from hadn’t been paying the taxes. I got a notice from the county that the house was going into foreclosure, and I decided to just walk away. It hurt, a lot, but it was necessary for the path that I’m on to come to be.

I needed a place to live. I had a son, and we had nowhere to go. On impulse, I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a couple of rooms to rent. Within hours, I got an email from a couple with an entire upstairs available. We started moving in the next day.

During the next few months, I met this young man, my roommate’s brother. He was 19 and far out of the realm of a possible partner. I was 31. He was just my roommate’s cute, younger brother. But there was something about him… He always made sure to go out of his way to say hello to me.

gwyIn May 2011, he came over for a party. We often had parties in the yard, big affairs with bonfires and lots of people. We started talking. And talking. And talking… From that point forward, we were virtually inseparable.

For the question of how I knew this relationship was special, I have to go back further. In 1991 (the same year my husband was born, incidentally), I discovered divination. I’d found a book called Fortune Telling with Playing Cards in my local library, and I fell in love. Over the last 23 years, I’ve studied Tarot, Runes, Numerology, Lenormand, Oracles, and various other methods of reading the past, present, and future.

In 2001, I got married, and that marriage was legally over in 2008 when the divorce papers were signed. I didn’t date anyone. Ever. I didn’t want another relationship. I just felt like it wasn’t for me. I was content being alone, single, doing my own thing.

Then, in early 2011, my readings for myself started to take a twist. No matter what system I used, what technique, what tool, they all started indicating that I was going to be entering a major relationship, and soon. I, of course, denied it. Nope, it can’t mean that; I don’t do relationships.

But sure enough, after that party, I was in a relationship. He asked me to “date” on a Monday, which I thought was cute. He seemed so, so young, and I thought, “Okay, maybe this is the major relationship, but he’s 19, it’s not going to go anywhere! It’ll just be a fun fling, and then we’ll be done.”

Two days after we started dating, he asked the dreaded question: “Will you do a Tarot reading for me?” Um, whoa… I wasn’t sure I wanted to know that much about the person I’d just started a relationship with.

I’m a good reader. I have a stunning track record for predictions coming true, especially in relation to pregnancies and marriages. So imagine my shock when I saw in his reading a marriage. And one that would be occurring fast!

I hesitated; after all, what man wants to hear, “Oh, you’re getting married in the next six months” from the woman he just started dating two days before! But he just smiled, said, “Who knows!” We got married five months later.

I’ve always believed in soul mates. But I don’t believe that we have just one soul mate, nor do I believe that each of our soul mate relationships serve the same purpose. Soul mate relationships are for learning lessons. Big lessons. Huge, life-altering lessons. Sometimes, they are lovely, happy, wonderful lessons to learn. Other times, they suck. And just because a lesson sucks doesn’t mean you aren’t soul mates. This marriage has been the hardest experience of my life. My husband has bipolar disorder and borderline disorder. His mood swings faster than anyone that I’ve ever seen. He’s paranoid and suffers from extreme anxiety. For the first two and a half years of our marriage, he didn’t work. We’ve been separated twice, once for two weeks, and the other for three weeks. Everyone in our life wonders why we’re still together, because it’s really hard.

But the love is deep and undeniable. We can’t stand to be away from each other for any length of time. We fight and we make up. Over and over. Each time, we learn something new about ourselves. We grow. We change.

This card's meaning is stable passion, and is a bit of a contradiction. In literal terms, it often depicts a wedding or similar celebration. When I read, if it comes up in a certain position, it means, without fail, the person is getting married in the next six months. It's happened multiple times, in fact. But it's a contradiction because passion can never be truly stable; it ebbs and flows, comes and goes. It's a stability that requires a great deal of work to maintain. You can't just build it and expect it to stand no matter what comes along!

When we first started dating, I was a shy, submissive hermit. I worked as a freelance transcriptionist, and I spent 20 hours a day alone, in my room, with little personal contact with other people. My whole life was essentially online.

After meeting him, I have friends now. I got a job outside the home that has turned out to be quite successful and lucrative. He has a job now as well. I’ve grown stronger and much more sure of myself. I stand up for myself, whereas before I let people walk all over me. I know more who I am and what I want out of life because of this marriage.

And every time I do a reading for myself or him, I’m reminded that there’s still more to learn from each other. Still more to work on. It is not a perfect marriage by any means. We have a long road to travel before we could even come close. But it’s also taught me that the Hollywood definition of soul mate is completely wrong. A soul mate is not there for you to live happily ever after. Happily ever after can only come from within.

Instead, a soul mate is there to teach you, test you, and bring out the best in you. And sometimes, that’s a really, really hard process to go through, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Gwynne Montgomery is a card and stone reader with over 20 years of experience doing readings professionally. She can be found at www.happymoneyflow.com and www.facebook.com/TransformationalIntuition, as well as www.GwynneMontgomery.com. She calls herself an “accidental cougar,” and she’s proud of it!

Thank you, Gwynee, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: A Love Story

May 12, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories, Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

secretsEnjoy this excerpt from Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship by Jim Sharon, Ed.D. and Ruth Sharon, M.S. Available from SkyLight Paths Publishing. Find out more at www.energyforlife.us.

The Power of Story

As you travel on your journey of a soulful marriage, it is important to remember the beginning, where the relationship started. What is your story? How did you meet? Did your family or friends introduce you or perhaps you believe that your meeting was “arranged” by cosmic forces? Life is so mysterious. What do you each recall from your courtship? Those early experiences of being together provide the foundation of your relationship, upon which you have built your marriage.

Love is often colorful, dramatic, and playful. We have had the pleasure of hearing many thrilling and outrageous stories of how happy couples met. Ours is one such story, which we would like to share to encourage you to recount the magic of your own beginning.

Our Wild Beginning: Jim’s Version

In the fall of my senior year of college, my apartment roommate, Alan, requested that I speak on the phone to his sophomore blind date to answer some questions for her about a class that I had previously taken. Although our conversation was fairly brief and ordinary, I had the strange thought that I should be going out with her because I was less than two years older than her, whereas my roommate was four years older. A week or so later Alan reported briefly meeting her and that she was “nothing special until she took her coat off.”

The next weekend Alan had his first date with this girl. Neither was enjoying the other, but because the night was young, the girl agreed to come to our apartment to perhaps meet me and my date. The two of them intruded on us making out on the couch and we quickly sat up as the door opened. Before Alan had a chance to introduce his date, she brazenly began to critique my collage that was hanging on a wall by the door. Her boldness commanded my attention, as did her liveliness. Alan’s date and I began sparking off of one another in conversation, while the other two receded into the background. At one point, Alan went into the bedroom to make a phone call and my date went to the bathroom. I then followed the mystery girl into the kitchen after she nervously rose to get a glass of water. Impulsively, I spun her around and kissed her on the lips–a brazen act that I had never done previously nor repeated. The electricity between us was palpable. The remainder of the evening was a blur to both of us.

You probably realize that Alan’s date was Ruth, my bride-to-be. Neither of us ever recollected what happened to our dates after my bold hello, there! kiss. I don’t even recall taking my date, who was visiting me for the weekend, to the train station. (We had casually dated the previous summer in my hometown.) The only thing that I remember was asking Alan if I could ask Ruth out, to which he replied, “You can have her!”

Ruth and I proceeded to have four long, glorious dates that Fall of 1967, ranging from dinners to attending football games and a theatrical play, to merely studying together. At one point during our study date in my apartment, the third of the four dates, I took a break to talk with Ruth. As we stood about a foot apart looking into each other’s eyes, I was jolted by a sudden, highly mystical experience. I sensed that I was peering into eternity! I had never before (or after) had such an experience. When I called Ruth in mid-December, after this series of dates, she was hopeful that I would ask her out for New Year’s Eve. Instead, in the middle of a good conversation, I shocked her and surprised myself by impulsively breaking up with her. Looking back on that instant decision, I am quite sure that I was unconsciously frightened by the prospect of finding my soul mate. Having been rejected a year and a half earlier by a girl whom I dated for a year and loved, I was not ready for another committed relationship, let alone one of this magnitude.

I did not have any further contact with Ruth until three months later, when I spotted her across a large ballroom floor at a college dance to begin the spring term. Although we were both leery of reconnecting, we conversed and danced together. Two very curious things transpired. One is that I called Alan and simply mentioned that Ruth was standing nearby. Alan retorted with conviction, “You’re going to marry her,” which stunned me, although I dismissed the idea at the time. Secondly, when I offered to turn the water fountain on for Ruth, she thought to herself, “If he turns that water off (in midstream), that’s it on him!” I kept both the water and our relationship “on” and we’ve flowed onward ever since. Despite attending graduate school the next fall about 150 miles away, Ruth and I continued seeing one another. We were delighted to be married less than two years later at a large and festive wedding.

Our Wild Beginning: Ruth’s Version

After a very frustrating freshman year at Penn State, I was telling a cousin at a summer family event that I was feeling very lonely and disconnected. She suggested I call her fiance’s best friend, Alan, who was studying for his doctorate in psychology at Penn State. I thought, “What? I am just going to be a sophomore, how can I call a doctoral student?” I simply replied, “thank you” and took the piece of paper with his name and number.

When I returned for the fall term, I tucked the piece of paper away, too nervous to make the call. Time went on, and finally in November, I got up enough courage to call. I met Alan for a movie. No chemistry and no emotional reaction to the fabulous movie “Cool Hand Luke.” Since the night was young, I decided to go to his apartment to meet his roommate and date.

As we entered the apartment, the roommate and a girl were kissing on the couch. She sat up quickly, but he lay there beaming at me. My heart flipped and I thought, “He is so cute!”

As the night went on, Jim and I were enthralled with each other. We talked, laughed, and flirted. I connected with him more deeply than anyone I had ever met. The roommate and the other girl disappeared!

Jim and I were alone in the living room. I got nervous, so I went into the kitchen for water. Jim followed me, twirled me around, and planted a big kiss on my lips. Although I responded, we were both startled.

To this day, we do not know where the other two people went or how I got back to my dorm! Jim and I shared four engaging dates until winter break. The night before we left for the holidays, Jim called. I thought he would ask me out for New Year’s Eve. Instead, he said, “We shouldn’t see each other anymore. We are just too different; I just don’t think it will work out.” I was devastated. I got very sick, missing most of the winter term.

When I returned for spring term, I attended a campus dance. There, across a noisy, crowded room, was Jim Sharon, strolling toward me. Hesitantly I went in the hall to talk with him. We decided to try it again and happily dated all spring. After Jim graduated, we deepened a long distance relationship for two years and fell in love!! We claimed we had the best relationship in the world! We touched each other on every level and were convinced that being together forever was a gift that would never wear out!

After Jim’s American University Master’s degree in psychology and my Penn State degree in Elementary Education, we began a new chapter. Reciting our vows under the chuppah and joining as a sacred couple on June 7, 1970, we celebrated in the presence of family, friends, and God.

Jim and Ruth

Soulful Connection: What Is Your Story?

Take a few moments to re-tell your story afresh to each other. Share how you each remember the details, sentiments, feelings, and thoughts of your meeting.

Every so often recount your meeting, dating, deciding to marry, and special events in your relationship. How you tell the story can reveal so much about each of you and who you are as a couple. You can record in writing or video for later generations to enjoy.

Order Secrets of a Soulful Marriage from SkyLight Paths Publishing.

Thank you, Jim and Ruth, for sharing your love and wisdom with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

A Love Story: The Romance Behind the Romance Novelist

May 7, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (0)

Nina Ceves is the indie published author of several romance novels. Find out more at www.ninaceves.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ninacevesromancenovels.

How did you meet, and how did you know this relationship was special?

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding. He was in the wedding band. The rest is history! Our love story. I remember sitting with my friends, and feeling as though someone were looking at me. You know that feeling? I turned, and saw him. At that point, I did not know he was in the band. I thought he must be someone’s boyfriend. I looked away. I felt so flustered, I actually got up, went to the bar for a glass of water, and went outside. He followed me. I made a joke. He laughed. I was only twenty-two years old with no interest in falling in love, and it happened right then. When I went home that night, I couldn’t make sense of it. But, I didn’t want to. I just knew. And every moment of that summer, as we first got to know one another, I could see what an incredibly special person he is.

Do you feel that you’re connected on a soul level?

one month standYes. It is something inexplicable. I feel that my love for my husband will last forever, that our souls are timeless and so our love is timeless. In one of my novels, One Month Stand, the character Theo describes how he felt, the moment he met Ever, who is the woman he has fallen in love with:

“From the moment I met you, I felt there was a magnet within me, undiscovered until you walked up to me, asking if I wanted cake. The magnet drew me to you; I felt you had an answering shard within you, and they were pulling us together, to meet at the heart. Every moment since then, that pull grows stronger. For me. I love, I love the light and dark of you…”

What passions do you share?

We have a passion for laughter. I don’t know why, but we make each other laugh so much. I tell him things that happen to me, or thoughts I have, and he laughs so hard. I feel as though I can share whatever quirky thing passes through my thoughts and he just *gets* it. He gets me. I think he is extremely funny and he cracks me up, just with his take on the world, his experiences, and how he relates them so comically.

Creativity is another shared passion. We both value it tremendously. My husband has always encouraged me to make time to write, and is so happy for me, so sincerely happy for me, that I’m now publishing, sharing what I’m writing. He is an incredibly gifted musician and I see how hard he works at it, and how much joy it brings him.

Tell us about one of the most soulful experiences you’ve had together.

One time, in the Sierras, we stretched on the ground, staring up at the sky as night fell. Then, bats started flying overhead. They were so beautiful, silhouetted against the twilight. Somehow, it was such a still, lovely moment, full of wonder, and I was so glad it was just the two of us together sharing it.

Dreaming Silas

Truly, nothing can compare to meeting our child for the first time. That morning, before sunrise, felt holy. The two of us together and then the three of us. My husband made up a song for our child on the spot. I’ll never forget it.

How do you benefit from being in your relationship?

My husband helps me be the best version of myself and he says the same of me. He challenges me, gently. He protects me. He cares for me. He puts my happiness before his. I know he would lay down his life for me, in a heartbeat. That kind of love and loyalty? I’ll never take it for granted. It blows me away. And I give it right back.

Our child sees that she has two parents who love one another deeply and love her unconditionally.

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

I love this question, and I wish I knew. I wonder if that will be revealed over time. My husband and I both value kindness, and we try to practice that, if that doesn’t sound weird, in any interaction that it is possible to do so.

What challenge have you faced together, and how did you find your way through them?

Illness, deaths, losses: life has its challenges, its ups and downs. I have had to learn to share my feelings and ask for the kind of help that I needed from my husband. He had to learn to be there for me when he could not fix things. We’ve learned so, so much about how to be there for each other. He knows I am beside him, no matter what. And I know he is with me, too. That connection means so much, there are barely words to describe the depth of my gratitude and appreciation for that.

What are you learning in your relationship right now?

I am learning how lucky, how blessed I am and just to savor that. I am learning how in love I am — the depth of that connection — and always will be. I am learning that a relationship can grow even better and better.

How do you keep your connection strong?

Shared laughter, heart to heart talks, wordless touches and looks . . . and I flirt outrageously, but only with my husband.

ninaIf you’ve read The Soulmate Experience, what ideas or suggestions have been most helpful to you? 

The entire book is highlighted, practically! There are so many insightful and practical ways of looking at growing closer, I loved it. If I had to choose just one, I would say: invitation instead of expectation. I loved the way that has helped me look at a few things in my relationship with my husband. Well, I can’t just pick one, so I’ll also add: how would this be if I were coming from a place of love? That has helped me so much, too. Oh, and just one more: the concept of the honored guest. That’s so beautiful and so true. These three examples are just amazingly helpful and practical but they go to a very deep, spiritual level. They have truly helped me become a better wife to my husband if that doesn’t sound too dorky…

What advice can you offer other couples to help them keep their connection strong?

Don’t be scared. Or, be scared. Go ahead, but don’t stop connecting, trying, reaching out, being brave, expressing yourself. Being vulnerable can be scary, and true love has a way of making you face your innermost fears. Don’t shut down, don’t start to skim on the surface of routine and responsibilities.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours?

Believe that its out there. Believe that you deserve it, because you do.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I just have to merely think about kissing my husband and I get butterflies. We’ve been together over twenty years. I love him more every day.

With so much love in my soul, how could I not write romance novels, full of tenderness, heat, awkward vulnerability, tears, and laughter?

Thank you, Nina, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

What Makes a Soulmate? A Love Story by Susan Paget

March 31, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (0)

Susan Paget is a writer, vlogger and podcaster who focuses on issues that impact women at midlife. Her first book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife” is available on Amazon. 

What is the secret to finding a soulmate?

It’s kind of a $64,000 question and the awesome exploration that Mali Apple and Joe Dunn forge with this subject provides a deep insight to what many of us consider a cosmic yet “needle in a haystack” type of connection.

I’ve often wondered about what ingredients go into this myself because I’ve been with my soulmate for 30 years now. The wondering comes from the fact that when we met, we were two young people, from opposite sides of the planet, during a time when there wasn’t any email, cable television or iPhones. It was an impossible romance. Long distance and long-term relationships couldn’t have been any farther from our minds, let alone a future of marriage and kids. We had both just turned 21 and our whole lives were ahead of us. But despite all this, a very precious connection was made and continues.

So what were the forces that brought us together and what can I add about meeting the person who is “meant” for you?

For the answer to this question — and I’ve thought about it often — I can only point out to the few hours before we actually met. In fact, that particular evening is very clear in my mind all these years later because it was an absolutely dark night of the soul for me.

When I say “dark” I mean it on all levels; it was pitch black except for the glare of streetlights and occasional car headlights. Psychologically, I was a third-year college student who was completely lost. I had no idea what I was doing in my life. Whether it was feeling disconnected from whatever it was I was supposed to be studying or the dysfunctional life I was living, this was a night where I was compelled to face a hard truth.

I was on my own.

No one was going to come to my rescue. I realized that I could no longer keep waiting for someone or something to make everything okay and all the deflection in the world wasn’t going to change things. I received a very clear message that it was time for me to once and for all grow up. And frankly, I knew that if I didn’t, I would pay dearly.

I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t overcome with emotion. I was steady, certain and agreed with everything that was coming at me.  I had gotten to a place where I was pretty much saying, “Universe, I give up. I’m ready to take responsibility for myself.”

And then, like a true college kid, I walked myself over to a frat party — because that’s what you do when you’re in college and you have an epiphany!

Not long after I arrived at the party, I heard an Australian accent across the crowded room. It was the time of “Crocodile Dundee” and “Throwing shrimps on the barbie” and curious, I made my way over to a table of four Aussies who were on a surfing trip along the coast of California.

One of those boys — and I can say boys because we were all so young — was my future husband, Dale. We connected immediately and long story short, we were together from that first night.

Sue and Dale

It was a magical encounter that I put partially down to extreme dumb luck on my part. I mean I must’ve done something pretty damn spectacular in another life to deserve it. And while I know there’s some of that in the mix, there’s more and it’s a tangible element that anyone can have.

Something stemmed from that very stark night before we met and it’s that both of us take responsibility for ourselves. We keep ourselves strong — mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We continue to grow. We continue to challenge our own thinking. And this in turn allows us to be there for each other, to grow our relationship further, to support each other in the ways we think and move in the world. I can’t help but believe that this common thread through our lives, of not expecting the other to be the rescuer or be the one to do the heavy lifting, is the soulmate fruit that came from that seed that was planted that night that at first seemed like the loneliest of my life.

So that’s my thought process on what makes a soulmate. To have a soulmate, you must first, without a shadow of a doubt, be a soulmate to yourself. You must back yourself a 100% and stand by yourself even when the chips are so down to the ground that you aren’t sure you’ll be able to stand back up.

Change Guru

But you will.

I think that gift of knowing that I needed to be my own soulmate, even on the darkest night, was what helped me meet one.

For more information about Susan Paget and her book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife,” visit her website, www.thechangeguru.net.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

I Married a Sex God: A Love Story

March 7, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (3)

This love story comes from the woman behind I Married a Sex God, a blog dedicated to keeping monogamy sexy. Connect with Marie through twitter at  @MarieFranklin00. Artwork courtesy Freedom Bean.

How did you meet and how did you know this relationship was special?

One enchanted evening, he saw me, a stranger, across a crowded room.

For real, that’s how we met!

It was at an art museum. There was a music venue there that night, an event they call Museum After Hours. I went with a guy friend to dance on the small dance floor they provided. There were literally hundreds of people at this event in a small, crowded room. My husband was a volunteer at the art museum that night. When I went to check my coat, he was right there to take it from me and he looked me right in the eye when I handed it to him. I definitely paused and made eye contact with him.

After that, we talked a bit on and off through the night… I liked what I saw and heard. He had a great vibe. We exchanged numbers at the end of the night.

My husband says that when I walked into the museum that night, God turned his head toward me and whispered in his ear “Hey, look over there…”

He says that got his attention and his eyes went right on me from then on out. He watched me walk in with my friend, watched us get in a very long line for a glass of wine; he assessed correctly that the friend I entered with was not a date or romantic interest. By the time my friend and I got through the line and meandered through the crowd over to the coat check, he had been discreetly watching me for a good 10 minutes. He says he felt he definitely needed to check me out, and right away he was glad he did.

I called him the next day because I had such a good feeling about him. We arranged a first date on the phone.

islandladyThat date was literally the best date of my life! It wasn’t that what we did was so special (a comedy club, dinner, and then drinks); it was just that really great vibe I got from him, from “us”—and I felt it all night long. I will never forget the feeling. I can call it up in my mind and relive it like it was yesterday. I remember the outfit I wore, the things we talked about, what the weather was like.

That was ten years ago, January 2004.

When really dug each other a LOT right from the start. It felt really great to have this man pursuing me. The feelings we had for each other were strong and mutual from the very beginning. There were moments when I found out for real what swooning feels like. It was like being intoxicated!

But I’m not sure I can pinpoint when it went from just a really great boyfriend/girlfriend feeling to the “Wow, this is a life-changing soul connection.” It didn’t happen overnight. It was more like it dawned on me over time that this was not just a fun, new relationship; it had much deeper lifetime implications. I guess after the first year we dated, I was awake to the potential that this was life changing—and by then I was certainly madly in love!

Even before then, I knew that having known him had changed my life forever. Even if we hadn’t made it from dating to relationship all the way to marriage, if we had broken up along the way, I would have never regretted that spectacular first date and whatever came after that.

How do you feel that you benefit from being in your relationship?

When you are truly deeply in love and having a soulmate experience, your whole spirit sparkles. You feel alive and refreshed. You wake up hopeful and happy. Your fears are quieted, because you don’t focus on them. Instead you find yourself thinking about your beloved and your delight at being in love.

Although we have normal lives and face daily stress and challenges, our love for each other is something I can call on in my mind at any moment and be suddenly happy all over again. I can pull up an infinite number of happy images and memories I have about our love whenever I need a reminder that there is something meaningful and worthwhile in my life, supporting all of my endeavors.

I am in generally excellent health, and I attribute this to the benefits of being in love. I can feel the warmth and goodness literally flowing through my veins!

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m very much in love. They say it is obvious when looking at me, like I have some great secret, and I am blushing like a schoolgirl most of the time.

riderrainbo

How do you keep your sexual connection strong?

We are both highly sexual people, and this was a strong attraction for us both from the very beginning. Being highly sexual, I know that the sexual component of any relationship I enter will always be very important to me. When I met my husband, it was clear that base was covered.

We are blessed with a wonderful, rich, experimental sex life that is never boring, never unexciting. I attribute most of this success to my husband because he’s a Sex God. I’m not too shabby myself either, so together we have a really good thing going on between the sheets. Heavenly, in fact.

For us, keeping the sexual connection strong is easy because we both value intimacy. Therefore, we are self-motivated to be close to one another emotionally and physically. We are always touching, kissing, and finding dark corners to sneak off to and make out. This high level of touching isn’t for everyone, but we both really love to touch and be touched. But it is more than the physical; the emotional intimacy just flows really well with us, too. It is mostly him, I have to say. He is blessed with an intuitive understanding of how to share real intimacy. He has taught me so much in that area. I seem to have been blessed with a lot of love capacity and ability. Putting together the intimacy with the love and the physical intimacy makes our sex life really amazing.

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

I do have a sense that we have a shared purpose, but I’m pretty sure that purpose is simply to love each other and really experience that love. I feel the love we have is metaphysical, and that it is literally healing us and transforming us to be ready for something even bigger, a love from above perhaps.

I know that there is an evolution going on in me, right now. I’m growing and changing, and our shared love is causing me to expand into new areas of myself.

medicinebuddha

What challenge have you faced together, and how did you find your way through it?

My husband and I have had to work through an incredible stubborn streak—in both of us. We don’t have this completely worked through yet; we continue to work on it year after year. It would sound from the rest of my account that we are just in love all day, every day—and that is true. But we also have a bad habit of fighting like silly children over the stupidest things. This is where the stubborn parts of us come out and do battle together. If an outside observer saw us in one of our many fights, they might think we hated each other!

Both of us dislike the fighting and it has been a real challenge to get it under control over the years. But the deal is, we really do love each other, flaws and all. So even though we both may think the other is the one who is being unreasonable during our fights, in the end we kiss and make up and realize that seeing the worst in each other is ok sometimes. We are committed to working out our silly stubbornness issues and all the other things that need to be addressed.

And this is no small deal either: we both have a freight train carrier full of baggage to wade through… but I’m willing to do all the inner or outer work I need to do. Our love is worth it. I have never regretted growing and learning to be a better person and partner. Real love transforms you from the inside out.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours?

My husband and I both know we are deserving of love, and we knew this when we were single. We also both believed that there was someone out there for us. Therefore, we did not have self-limiting beliefs that were working against us. It isn’t that we expected the world to just cough up the perfect person to us on demand. And it certainly didn’t. We both went through many relationships before finding each other.

But we felt ready and deserving and hopeful to find the perfect person for us. That feeling of “deserving it” is very important. This is what I would encourage single people to develop, if they don’t have it yet: The sense that they deserve real love.

Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on love with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love