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How to manifest the love of your life

Does the idea that everyone has a soul mate make you want to gag? Fight that urge because the first step to finding true love is to believe it's out there, says author Arielle Ford.
/ Source: TODAY books

Does the idea that everyone has a soul mate make you want to gag? Fight that urge because the first step to finding true love is to believe it's out there, says author Arielle Ford in her new book “The Soulmate Secret.” An excerpt.

Chapter one: Belief “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  —Rumi

Stefanie’s story: Broken-hearted and disbelieving
I fell madly in love with someone who I believed with all my heart was The One. We had been friends for fifteen years before we began dating, and we fit together like hand and glove. He was an ambitious Hollywood producer, we were well matched in every way, and we had even started house shopping and discussing marriage. Then I found out he had been having an affair. My heart was so broken that I really thought it might stop beating. I had never cried so much over any breakup, because I really thought he was my soulmate. I decided then and there that all the good men were taken or at least not living in my city — maybe I needed to move? I had a hard time believing I would ever find someone who could really see (and love) all sides of me; the serious career woman, the playful girl and the tender lover inside of me. I had given up.  

[Stay tuned ... this story has a very happy ending!]

Stefanie’s story echoes what many of us have felt at some point in our lives. After a few (or many) bad relationships, it’s so easy to shut down, give up, and stop believing that the right person is out there for us. Our hearts yearn to fall in love, but our minds insist it’s not possible, and we enter into a tug-of-war with ourselves. It’s as if one part of us is screaming, “Yes! I deserve a great relationship!” while another part insists, “I’ll never find him or her.” When our beliefs contradict our desires, we experience an inner conflict that not only paralyzes us, but can actually prevent us from recognizing the possibilities for love that exist all around us.  

The universal Law of Attraction states that we draw to us those people, events and circumstances that match our inner state of being. In other words, we attract experiences that are consistent with our beliefs. If we believe that there is plenty of love in the world and we are worthy of giving and receiving that love, we will attract a different quality of relationships than someone who believes in scarcity or feels unworthy of happiness. If we believe the world is a loving and friendly place, then most of the time that will be our experience. If we believe the world is a chaotic, stressful and fearful place, then eventually that will become our reality. So, believing and knowing that your soulmate is out there is a critical first step in the formula for manifesting him or her into your life.

If you do not yet believe with 100 percent certainty that your soulmate is out there, you must begin to look for evidence that will make a believer out of you. When, deep down in the core of your being you believe that your soulmate exists, there is no limit to the ways that he or she can enter your life.

Take for example my friend Trudy, who, while searching for the perfect cantaloupe, met her husband in the produce aisle of Whole Foods market. Or Patricia, a former colleague, whose best friend practically had to drag her out of bed to go to a party, where she ended up meeting her future husband by the coat check. What about the experience of Gayle Seminara-Mandel, whose story you’ll read in a subsequent chapter? Sporting a post-facial blotchy face and sweatpants, she ended up sitting next to her future husband on the exercise bikes at the gym, where she found herself on a dateless New Year’s Eve. Sean Roach, whose story you will also learn, was flying back from a three-week trip to Australia, wondering if he would ever find the right woman to marry and start a family with. After an argument erupted in the aisle, he stood up to defend the flight attendant from the harsh words of a rude passenger and found himself gazing into the eyes of his future wife. Do you think Englishman David Brown had any way of knowing that he would one day wake up with a cell phone number running through his head, send a text message to it, and end up striking up a friendship with the owner of the phone that would ultimately blossom into love?

The point is, it is not necessary for you to know how or where or when your soulmate will appear. Your only work right now is to begin to nurture the belief that he or she exists and that you will find one another when the time is right. 

You also need to begin to dismantle some of the negative beliefs about yourself that you may have unknowingly collected over the years. For example, deep down inside, do you believe you are loveable? If you are reading this, then I am certain you are loveable. Why? Because loveable people always want more love in their lives. But if you believe you are not loveable, you must start to challenge that belief. I know many very attractive, successful single people who have some very negative, limiting beliefs when it comes to finding their soulmate. Their list usually goes something like this:

  • I’m too old.
  • I’m too fat.
  • I’m too damaged.
  • I have too much baggage.
  • I’m not successful enough.
  • I’m too successful.
  • All the good ones are taken.
  • Nobody I am interested in would be interested in me.

These are just knee-jerk excuses that keep us stuck. There is plenty of evidence that love is available to everyone regardless of age, weight or income or any of the other factors we believe limit us. Regardless of our personal histories in relationships, we can choose to adopt the belief that everything we’ve been through has been but preparation for finding our true love. 

Feelingization: Releasing old beliefs
Begin by taking a moment to remember your worst romantic encounters — the people who really weren’t kind and loving; the ones you’d like to forget; the ones who hurt you the most, who betrayed your trust, who caused your heart to shut down.

Now imagine that these past lovers are all standing in front of you. Allow yourself to feel the pain they caused you in the past. 

Take a moment to ask yourself what you must have believed about yourself to tolerate this kind of behavior. Did you believe that you didn’t deserve any better? That you had no right to ask for more? That you weren’t lovable?

Now, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Am I willing to release these old beliefs?” Notice what your answer is, and if you are really ready to let them go, imagine gathering all the old, painful feelings and beliefs and limitations and mentally projecting them onto all of your old lovers, who are still standing before you. Just imagine dumping all those old painful feelings back on to those ex-lovers. Take a moment to notice how that feels.

Now imagine that you have an aerosol can — like a spray paint can — in your hand. See yourself pointing it at those ex-lovers. In a moment, you’re going to press the trigger and spray the can, and as you do, all those people and all those painful memories are going to become globbed together inside a big latex bubble. 

Take a moment and relish the feeling of spraying that paint, congealing every one of those negative memories, experiences, and beliefs together into a single bubble. They are now separate from you, removed from you. Take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom of that.

Now imagine that in your left hand you are holding a large, sharp needle. Perhaps a smile comes across your face just imagining what I’m about to ask you to do. That’s right, when you are ready, take the needle and puncture that latex bubble, watching it explode and disappear into thin air. 

These people are now gone from your consciousness ... and with them the painful feelings, beliefs and experiences of the past. Feel what it feels like to no longer carry the burden of your past with you. Feel the freedom, the new possibilities, the relief.

Take a deep breath and notice what arises when I ask you this question:

What would you have to believe about yourself in order to magnetize your soulmate into your life?

Would you have to believe and know that you are lovable? That you are deserving? That you are a fabulous catch?

Believe and know deep in your heart that The One is out there for you, that you deserve to have your desires fulfilled, that you deserve to give and receive love.

And if you don’t quite believe it today, see if you can, in this moment, believe that The One is on their way and that your knowingness is growing daily.

Take this time to think about all the things you have to offer, and in case you are forgetting what those are, I’d like to remind you: It’s the love you give and share, the kindness and warmth you exude — not to mention all your other talents.

You were born to be loved, cherished, and adored.

You were born to be loved, cherished, and adored.

You were born to be loved, cherished, and adored.

Repeat this to yourself seven times, allowing it to penetrate deeply into your heart.

Ultimately, it’s not your job to know HOW your soulmate is going to appear. It’s only your job to be ready, willing and open to receive that love. You don’t really know exactly where air or water come from, but you totally believe that they are there for you. As a human being, you know that air and water are part of your divine inheritance.  No matter what mistakes you have made in the past, you are still going to wake up every day and have access to air and water. The same is true for love. It’s there for you. It’s always been there for you. You just need to remember the love that you are, and once you do, the Universe will bring you more of it. In other words, there is nothing for you to do; there is only a way for you to BE. Be the loving person that you are; live in the knowingness that you deserve to have a loving, committed relationship; and savor the waiting for your beloved to arrive.

Believing that your soulmate exists, that you are deserving of him or her, and that the Universe is skillfully orchestrating your meeting is the basis for applying the next part of the formula — to generate a vision of yourself and your life where these beliefs are your daily reality.

Treasure-mapping for love
Treasure-mapping is a powerful tool for manifestation, because it helps you to both intuitively and objectively clarify what your heart is yearning to experience. A Treasure Map acts as a visual reminder of the life that you are committed to creating. I have been making Treasure Maps for years, and it’s uncanny how many of the images and ideas that I mapped have manifested in my actual life. Once, after Brian and I had just found out we would need to move within nine months, I made a Treasure Map that included a picture of a bedroom with an ocean view that we found particularly appealing. When it was time to go house hunting, the very first home we saw had a master bedroom with this same view, the same carpet, and the same wooden frame around the windows. It was exactly what we had imagined. This is the power of Treasure Mapping.  

You can make your treasure map 100 percent focused on attracting your soulmate, or you can separate it into four life areas:

  1. love & relationship
  2. health & fitness
  3. career & money
  4. spiritual & emotional fulfillment

To create your treasure map, you will need:

  • a good-sized piece of poster board or foam board
  • a stack of your favorite magazines that reflect your unique interests and taste
  • a glue stick and a pair of scissors
  • several hours to devote to this project

Flip through the magazines and cut out images, words and photographs that appeal to you. Try not to think too hard about the words and images you’re selecting but rather trust your gut feeling about what you find attractive. Make sure to include at least one photo or image of a loving couple — it could be something as simple two people walking on the beach hand in hand. When selecting these images, you are looking to evoke a feeling as opposed to manifesting the models in the photos, so look for images that convey the feeling that you desire more than a particular face. Images that represent love, romance, commitment, and joy are all good. If marrying your soulmate is what you desire, feel free to add engagement rings, wedding rings, wedding cake, or anything else that is a symbol of marriage or commitment. You should also include a photo of yourself looking really happy and surround that image with words that express your positive beliefs about finding love. You want your Treasure Map to affirm that you are loved, cherished, and adored by your perfect partner.

I have heard about so many incredible connections unfolding as a result of people using the Treasure Mapping process. On the surface it seems unbelievable or miraculous, but I now understand that Treasure Mapping just helps to reveal attributes that are important to you in a partner, which you may not be consciously aware of. Looking at your map daily reminds you of your deeper values and also helps you begin noticing them where you may have missed them before.

Excerpted from “The Soulmate Secret” by Arielle Ford. Copyright(c) 2009, reprinted with permission from HarperCollins.