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Love Lessons: Your Spirit & Inner Child

Are you giving off the right first impression?

Are you giving off the right first impression?

You have 7 seconds to make the right first impression. It takes 7 seconds for someone to decide whether you are a right fit… or not.

It’s surprising that someone can discern a strong sense of who you are with a first impression. Even more surprising, they can pick up on some of the most intimate details of your past:

Are you compensating for something? 

Do you have some lingering emotional scars?

Are you looking for love?

So what does your first impression say about you?

Today on the Dates & Mates podcast, I’m guiding you to understand and visualize your true essence and how to align with your inner child so you can make a real and lasting impression.

This is the final episode in a 4 part series 
designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Full series LIVE NOW!

WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!

Unknown Speaker  0:00  

What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that into me. I’ve always been bad. For attention. I’m ready for

 

Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. My lovers, my lovers, my lovers. Welcome to dates in May. It’s I can’t believe it. But this is the last episode of the seventh season of the show. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait long for the next season. To begin. It will begin next week. But to close out this season, we have a special micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome. But be advised that this is not the regular format, which usually includes headlines, interviews, and q&a. So I encourage you to go back and listen to previous episodes from this season first, and then come back and join me for this unusual podcast experience. For those of you already ready to go deeper with me and want to join me for a unique exploration to open you up to love. This is the last part of a three part exploration into your mind, body and spirit. Last week, we covered the body with a yoga tutorial that demonstrates how your physical movements and the patterns you carry in your body are a living metaphor for your love life. Deep right? Then the week before we did a visualization to help you picture yourself in the future with your ideal mate and get into the feeling of what it will be like to be with this person and what messages they might have to send to you. That will help you in being able to identify them and find them in the now. today. I’m going to talk to your spirit and share a lesson that I’ve only presented in private circles before. I really hope If you enjoy it, seven seconds, that’s it. According to an NYU study, you have only seven seconds before the person across from you makes up their mind about who you are seven seconds to get someone to ask for your number, or be offered the job, or close the deal. only seven seconds. Now, you know me as a dating expert, but I actually started out as a casting director. And in my work, I saw tons of actors who were talented, but couldn’t book apart because they didn’t know who they truly were. What if Melissa McCarthy thought she was a Jenny McCarthy? Or if Taylor Swift was trying to be Beyonce? I know you probably have some thoughts about that, but I’m not gonna get into it. I just want you to know. We wouldn’t connect with them if they were constantly trying to be someone other than who they were. But I noticed that the way that my students headshots capture their personality. This is the photos that actors use to present themselves to casting directors and the information that they would choose to include in their resume and their style. When they walked in the audition room. It all had an impact on their career. My classes essentially got actors in touch with their authentic selves, and taught them how to express that clearly, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s mold to be noticed. Sound familiar? The first time I became aware of this principle was during a theater class in college. Yes, I was a nerdy theater major. We did an exercise that was designed to teach us about our essence, which is basically just a fancy theater term for the way that you present to others physically and emotionally. The way that people perceive you the minute you walk in the room so We walked around the theater waiting for the teacher to call out a student’s name. When that name was said, we were supposed to embody that person’s essence and express how we perceived their energy. So she calls the name Robin and Robin was lively. So everybody started walking around going Robin, Robin Robin. And then she mentions Mandy Mandy sorta, easygoing, everybody starts to kind of shuffle their feet and say, Mandy, Mandy, Mandy, and then she says Dimona, and everyone says Dimona, and then crosses their arms in front of them in a judgmental and sort of discerning manner. And I was shocked, because that’s what they saw. But that’s not how I felt. That’s not who I really was. But to understand this moment, I have to give you a little bit of background on what I had brought into the room that day.

 

So I grew up as one of the only people of color in my affluent neighborhood in East Lansing, Michigan. My mom is a black woman from the projects in Detroit. My father is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. And the year before I came to college, my parents divorced. And people would ask me how I was handling their split, and I would say, it doesn’t even really affect me. I just I just keep busy. And all that time. I was also battling my weight and overcoming the image of myself as a pudgy kid with poofy hair, who looked nothing like anyone else she knew. I fit in everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. So when I went to college, I wore black every day. It’s slimming right? Plus I was an artist. And I thought I was doing a great job of hiding away the broken misfit inside and parading her around the mask of a discriminating artist. But in an instant, they had all seen behind it when everyone in my class did Dimona, with crossed arms and that look, I had to acknowledge what they were seeing. Who was this critical, uptight girl in black? Was that who I had become? Or was that a mask in itself that my childhood pain had put on top of me? Eventually, I began to shed away the layers with a lot of personal growth and a lot of time to surrender to who I truly was the whole time. A helper, a healer, a lover of bright colors, especially pink You all know that and everything I experienced started to converge when I was teaching my acting classes at night, and then looking for Mr. Right online. And it didn’t take me long to see that correlation between what I was teaching actors. And my experience with online dating. My profile pictures were like my headshots, and my profile bio was like a resume. And doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a first day is essentially an audition. I know you won’t argue with me on that. And everything that I was learning at work, and everything that that burst theater exercise taught me was being put into practice in my dating life

 

Unknown Speaker  7:42  

every day.

 

Damona  7:43  

But once I embraced my own unique quirks and qualities, and allowed them to shine through in my profile, rather than hiding behind a little black dress, or a snarky email, my dating life completely shifted This new perspective led me to meet the man who has been my husband for 13 years. And it helps me to lead hundreds of clients to success and guide. Thousands of podcast listeners right here through this show dates inmates. The COVID pandemic is reminding us of how important human connection is. And the current racial climate reminds us of how important it is to see the person in front of you for what’s inside what’s deeper than the surface. If you ask me, it’s the perfect time to fall in love. But wait, have you ever thought about why they say fall in love? Because for you to see yourself and for someone else to see the real you. It requires surrender. Acceptance of who you are, who your partner is, and an understanding of your true essence. Your soul, your soul. berat. Anyone can experience an initial physical attraction when they see someone. That’s the seven second rule I was telling you about earlier. But to actually fall in love, you have to be willing to fall. You have to be willing to share your true self with someone and let them see beyond the black clothes and the crossed arms. You have to accept that the outcome. It’s not entirely within your control. You have to surrender. So for a moment today, I invite you to take a look at yourself and look at the deeper layer your essence. What do you know about yourself that you keep locked away? How does that inner self come across when people first meet you? Can you peel back the layers? The coats of armor that you’ve cloaked yourself into cushion the fall Can you see that the Real discovery is in the fall. It’s so heavy to carry around all that armor with you all day. What if you just let it go. To help you do this, I’d like to lead you through a little exercise. It was part of my own transformations so many years ago. And I want to offer it up to you today as a way to get closer to that true essence of self, your soul. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture yourself in your body right now. how it looks on the outside, how it feels on the inside. Really experience what it’s like to live in your current self. feel the emotions that you brought into this room or you’re listening to this podcast right now. Feel the stressors that you live with. Feel that armor that you carry around with you Each day Ah, take a deep breath and picture yourself peeling away the top layer like a Russian nesting doll underneath the shell. There’s another self that looks almost identical to the current you but feels slightly lighter, a little more free. Now take a breath and peel away another layer. I feel the differences in this body and this self. And as you peel back layer after layer, you are shedding the stories that you’ve been telling yourself, the wounds that you’ve acquired over the years to get to a more authentic sense of self without all of those layers without all of those pains. Keep peeling back these layers until you see yourself as a Child. Look clearly at the image of your child self. Observe what your child looks like and what they’re doing. What is the expression on their face? How do you perceive the essence of your own child self? Now in your mind, ask the child, who they are and what they want.

 

And listen, listen intently, as the child expresses their identity, perception, thoughts, feelings, and needs. Maybe these are things that never got expressed when you were a child, but things that you wish You could hear your child’s self Express right now. And as you listen, let their words fill you up with those dreams and intentions. Let their description of themselves wash over you. This is the real you inside. Before you were hurt, before you learned how to shape shift into someone else, to survive difficult situations. Feel what it’s like to just be in your true essence. Not to put on airs, or change yourself to be lovable, to be lovable just by being you. You. You let that feeling wash over you And now, picture this child growing, getting bigger and bigger until you start to realize and recognize the you have today. Start to come back to your present self.

 

That child is still inside you. He or she has been there all along. You just need to sit back sometimes and let your child self come out to play. If your eyes are closed, you may open them right now and hear this message. This child, your child self deserves it all. Compassion hope unconditional love. And so do you. You’re not your stories and experiences, your soul is pure. And you always have the choice to come back to your true essence and begin again. You always have the option to bring your whole heart and your whole self into your next relationship. Be your true self attract true love. And don’t be afraid to fall in love. Thank you for joining me for this special dates inmates love lessons micro series. Next week, season eight of dates inmates will begin and I’m really excited to finally share with you that my guest will be the incredible garcelle Beauvais and you actually have something in common with her. Though she started out as a model and she starred in films and TV shows For decades, she’s now on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She lives her fabulous life, but garcelle is still looking for love. And she has bravely agreed to do a dating coaching session with me on air. Y’all. This episode is perfect for anyone who loves the real housewives, or is a fan of garcelle or as a black woman looking for love, or is just curious about what it’s like to go through this experience and coach one on one with me. So I hope you will join me for that on Monday, August 3. And in the meantime, I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episodes I know is a bit of a departure from what we normally do. But this is the kind of work that I do in my programs. And this is the kind of practice that I have incorporated into my own life and use to find love and to help others. So I wanted to share the deeper level with you and give you the opportunity to go on that journey. If you didn’t like it, no worries. We’ll be back to the regular format soon. But if you love it, let me know and I’ll be sure to do more of this. In closing, I humbly ask you to support the show through Patreon, I wanted to bring you these love lessons without any ad interruptions in the middle. So it would help me to continue to make dates and mates free to so many if you can just pledge $5 to support the show. In addition to the special video trainings and discounts on my future programs, and access to my library of older episodes, I’m also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits group that give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. They’re called behind the mic. And they’ll also include some live private q&a with me. So I invite you, I encourage you to please join the community and you’ll be with other daters who understand just what you’re going through and you’ll have me to walk you through it and We’ll support future episodes of the show and keep it free for hopefully eight more seasons. You can join right now for just $5 at patreon.com, slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your support. I’m so appreciative of the recent five star reviews. trueblue says it’s top notch advice. This podcast as informative and insightful. I think so true blue. I I’m really glad to hear that you found it and that you believe so as well. If you’re listening have a friend who could use this week’s love lesson or any of our prior episodes. Please do share dates and mates with them and help us spread the love. Until next season, which happens to be next week. I wish you happy dating

Love Lessons: Mind-Body Connection

3 STEPS TO UNLOCKING LOVE

There are three basic steps to complete before you can truly find a “forever kind of love”:

  • A mindset realignment
  • A flexible body
  • A spiritual connection

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ This doesn’t mean what you think it means! ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

This month, Damona’s explaining what all of this means and then walking you through these steps on the Dates & Mates podcast.

We’re releasing a 4 part series designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Lessons 1, 2 and 3 are LIVE NOW!

These short lessons will take you less than 30 minutes to complete, but might be the key to unlocking your missing link in love.

In the first lesson, we talked about self-forgiveness and deciding when you are ready to date.

In the second lesson, Damona gave a meditative guide to understanding your ideal mate.

But this week, your body tells you what your love life is missing. So let’s get physical!

I’m helping you open up to love by releasing blocks in your body and strengthening a mind-body connection in today’s yoga tutorial.

This simple exercise is made for everyone. So take 30 minutes to dedicate to this journey today!

YOGA TUTORIAL ( 5:00)

Table Top – use your body with intention. (6:00)

How are you showing up in your relationships? How are you setting up your relationship foundation?

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Plank Pose – What is your gut feeling?

Mountain Pose – Receive Love

Are you in a position to receive the love you deserve?

Sun Salutation – Leading forward with the heart (11:00)

Are you ready for this relationship? Are you pushing yourself too hard? 

Downward Facing Dog – (13:00)

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Close your eyes – Trust and Faith

Cobra Pose – Gaze forward through your mind’s eye (15:27)

(picture courtesy of Jeff Nelson for Yoga Journal)

Tree Pose – Focus your intention

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Twisted Lunge

(picture courtesy of gaia.com)

Camel Pose

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

 

WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!

Damona  0:12  

Lovers, welcome to dates and maids. We are closing out this seventh season of the show departing from our regular format of headlines and interviews and QA to bring you a micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome, I adore you. I’m so happy you’re here. And I strongly encourage you to go back and listen to some other episodes from this season first, because this is going to be a different kind of thing. But for those of you who are ready to go deeper with me and want to experience a different kind of transformation, strap on your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. Last week, I shared an exercise with you about the mind and How to visualize yourself in the future and train your brain to get on a course to find your ideal mate. So today, I will do an exercise with you that uses the body to heal prior wounds and open you up for love. Our bodies are incredible. They store information and emotions that inform our daily choices in life. But just as we store tension and pain and fear, there are movements that you can do to release these emotions and unlock a deeper level of trust and confidence and openness to love. The other powerful thing about the body is that it can’t be talked out of something. While you can do a mental exercise, you can do those exercises all day but still sabotage yourself with negative thinking that counteract the positive effects of visualization and meditation and other mental exercises. When you work with your body, you can be impacted on an immediate physiological level. Without having to battle with stories and memories in your mind. The body is pure action and reaction. And this is one of the reasons that you’ve heard me say on the show before, that you learn in motion. This is why I do improv and practice dates with my VIP clients so that they can feel the new dating habits in their bodies. And then it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it. It’s also why I say that you don’t necessarily need to wait until you’re 100% over a breakup to begin dating again. We can talk about your feelings and picture yourself in the ideal relationship forever, but you cannot get there without taking action. So let’s take some action right now. 20 years ago, I took my first yoga class and I never looked back it transformed my body for sure. But more importantly, it transformed my mind. Today, I’m going to give you a series of poses that have a profound ability to impact your love life. What’s coming up is not a yoga class per se, but it’s a tutorial. If you’re new to yoga, I will describe the poses in detail and we will post a blog at dates and mates comm showing the poses if you’re not totally clear on what it’s supposed to look like, but also I encourage you to just trust yourself. And even if it’s not perfect, as long as you’re not in pain, you don’t have to do it perfectly. You’re making progress just by attempting the movement. Now, if you’re a seasoned practitioner, I hope that this session gives you a deeper understanding behind the postures that you can take into your flow classes and practices in the future. This will not be a substitute for regular class and this is not intended as a workout. But it can be a helpful supplement to your regular practice and give you a deeper level of knowledge as to why your teacher is following you through a certain sequence of poses. Before we begin moving, I have to include a disclaimer that I am not a yoga teacher. I’m a committed practitioner of 20 years I’ve studied with some of the best teachers in the world. And I am a former AFA certified fitness instructor, and an accredited Pio plotters, yoga teacher. And most importantly, if you do any of these exercises at home, you must be aware of your surroundings. So clears some space out. And let’s begin. 

 

If you have a yoga mat or blanket, please take a seat on it. Now, ideally with your legs criss crossed or if that’s not possible for you and your body. Prop yourself up on a pillow or sit on your knees. Now close your eyes. Take a breath in and out And feel yourself in your seat. Whatever part of your body is touching the ground right now, visualize the points of contact rooting into the ground, through the floor

 

into the earth. You’re grounded and you’re sure of yourself as you are connected to the earth. Breathe in again. Hi and feel that sensation as you breathe out. Now I want you to set an intention for our time together. What do you hope to get out of this experience? How do you want to feel when it’s done? breathing that intention. Breathe that intention in and over your body. In and out. And sit with intention for a moment. Now, you can open your eyes and come up onto all fours. So this is tabletop position. I want you to look at your fingers. How are your hands connected to the mat or the floor below you? Are they placed with intention? Or are they kind of curled? Or are they flat and strong? How strong are your forearms and your elbow right now? Okay, it’s alright if you did it without tension before, but now, let’s place them mindfully. I want you to think about spreading your fingers out evenly. And think of pressing the mound of your hand like right there under your knuckles into the ground. Imagine you’re almost clawing the floor while pressing your fingertips and Knuckles into the floor beneath you. And then Picture yourself drawing up strength from the floor. So you have all five fingers and the pad of your hand pushing down yet, muscle energy is pulling up from the floor. feel those muscles of your arms and the rooted intensity of your fingers. This is a foundation. This is being grounded. And you see how it affects the whole experience of the finger, the hands, the forearms, the elbows and the shoulders in this pose. Okay, now relax for a second and go back to how you were doing it before. Don’t think about it too much. Just put it back how you were. And then ask yourself this question. How have I been showing up in my dating life or in my relationships? I might just placing my fingers on the mat and expecting to be supported. Or am I taking the time to set up my foundation and using my energy to hold my intention. So now you get to reset your foundation. Go ahead and push those fingertips and the mount of your hand into the floor, climbing the floor almost and drawing that energy up. Do it the good way. And I’ll pop up to plank pose. So this is ideally with your knees up off the floor, toes curled under making a straight line from the top of your head all the way down your spine to your heels. And if that’s not accessible for you right now, that’s okay. Put your knees down, but focus on getting that straight line. You want that going from the top of your head down to your knees. Now Engage your core. And this isn’t Suzanne subbers ABS of steel stuck in your belly. This means picture the entire core of muscles The front sides and back of you, which all support you in this post. If you’re not feeling them yet, you’re not feeling that court, drop your hips down an inch and see if that engages them. Stay there. I know you’re still there. Think of how important your core is to your decision making in dating and relationships. When you’re out with someone and you’ve heard me say before that you have to get in touch with the feeling you have when you’re with them. You need to know what’s up in your gut. We are still up my friends. We’re still up in plank. You’ve heard the saying, I had a gut feeling right? This is where that feeling begins. Keep breathing. This exercise is helping you to awaken this area of your body so that you can feel your gut when it’s speaking to you. Okay, it’s alright, you can come back down. Come back down now to all for us. Intense right

 

for more experience practitioners you can add on a Breath of Fire. That’s another great gut check. We’re not going to do it today. But I encourage you to incorporate that into your practice. If you find yourself saying, I don’t know what to look for in a match, or I feel out of touch with my gut reaction. And as you train this gut instinct, you should be able to know within the first 30 minutes or so of meeting someone if your gut is giving you a yes or no on them. Now, if you’re familiar with sun salutations, you can come up and move into your own flow right now. And then I’m going to throw you a curveball in a moment. But for now, if you’re new to yoga, if you’re completely new, you don’t know what a sun salutation is, don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through it right now. Come up to standing at the top of your mat. Some teachers will tell you to bring your feet together when you come up to standing. But that’s physiologically challenging for many people. If you look at where your hips are placed, bring them together does For a lot of people in the hip and groin area, so for myself and for many other people, if you are more comfortable with your legs, hip width apart, that’s all good. And I encourage you to do that stand with your arms at your sides and your palms turned slightly open. Think of this as a position of receiving. And remember, remember we had that intention from before. Put that back in your brain and we are going to flow. Now like you’re drawing a sun, bring those arms up and around and up to the sky, and then bring them apart and dive forward to touch the ground. If you don’t have the flexibility to touch the ground like this, just bend your knees, no biggie. modify this to make it feel good for you. Now with your arms still on the ground, I want you to take your head up and look forward towards your future. And release your head down and drop back to the floor. keeping those in Knees bent if your hamstrings are tight. And now we’re going to step back to all fours or plank position as you were a moment ago. And I want you to lower down slowly to the floor, as if you’re doing a descending, push up. This is Chaturanga. Go all the way down to the floor. Next, we’re going to come up to Cobra. Inhale, no upward facing dog folks, most people do not have the flexibility for that and doing poses, your body isn’t ready for is the number one way to get injured. Just like pushing yourself into a relationship that is not right for you is number one way to get your heart broken. So we’re just going to keep our hands down and push into the floor with our hands with the same intention we did in tabletop. But keep our elbows bent. So you’re going to pull your heart through your shoulders, think of leaning forward with the heart. And we are unlocking the heart through this exercise. We will get deeper into that and Moment. Exhale and release down to the ground and push back to downward facing dog. This is basically just an upside down V position. If you don’t know it again, tight hamstrings, no problem, just bend your knees and focus on getting your butt up to the sky and that straight line from your head all the way down your tailbone. We are going to breathe here for three deep breaths, focusing on our original intention again.

 

Unknown Speaker  13:30  

Breathe in

 

Unknown Speaker  13:33  

and out

 

Damona  13:38  

and out. Breathing in and out again, preparing to jump or step forward to the top of your mat. Then circle your arms up again. Come up to the sky and back down to Mountain Pose. Tadasana again at the front of your mat with your arms at your sides turned slightly open In a pose of receiving. Now, if you’ve already been flowing, please come back and meet me here at the top of your mat for your curveball. Relationships require an element of trust and release. And this is one of the things that my clients struggle with most. So to allow us to feel the sense of trust and faith. I’m going to have you close your eyes and do all of that. Again. I want you to allow my voice to lead you and don’t worry about how you look or where you are on your mat. We are going with feeling eyes closed. Breathe in and circle your arms up to the sky. And then as you hinge forward, dive your head down to the ground as you circle your arms around to the floor. And exhale, eyes still closed. Now inhale and bring your head and heart forward, but keep your arms down and your eyes still closed. And here’s the tricky part step back to plank pose. Feel it? Are you getting that gut check? Uh huh. Now, we’re going to exhale all the way to the ground. Chaturanga. Reverse push up and inhale again, bring your head up to cobra pose bhujangasana. As your hands are rooted to the earth, your eyes are still closed and yet you’re gazing forward through your mind’s eye. Bringing that heart forward. Now tuck your toes under and push back. Downward facing dog on a muka Shavasana. Eyes are still closed, exhaling fully and inhaling. What are you feeling? This is bringing up anxiety to have your eyes closed. Is it scary to be inside alone with yourself. Keep breathing. We’re still in downward facing dog. Keep sitting with your feelings. On your third inhale and exhale, step forward to the top of your mouth, still keeping your eyes closed or back at Tadasana Mountain Pose. What do you feel now? on your own, I encourage you to do a closed eye flow again sometime, but for time, we’re just going to do that one circuit today. Yet, if you do another sequence with your eyes closed, pay attention to the feelings that come up for you. When you must lose control, and struggle with balance and face what’s inside your body and mind when you’re alone in there, without outside stimulus. For today’s exercise, we’re going to move on to a few more poses. tree pose is next. Turn your right knee out to the side and lift the inside of your foot up to your calf or inner thigh. Just avoid the knee you’re either above it or below it essentially your leg You’re going to look like a flagpole and your knee a flag. And I want you to put your hands together in prayer position or raise your arms up to the sky. How’s your balance? Are you looking forward? Do you have a focal point? Do you have a focus? Do you have a focus in your love life? Think of that focus that intention, get clarity. See how that impacts your balance. In yoga, we call that focal point, your drishti. And your drishti will tell you whether or not you can stay in a pose. Maybe if you’re feeling balanced, you can lift your leg higher or your gaze higher. People are always talking about seeking balance and visualizing. There’s this magical point where everything just comes together that they just haven’t attained yet. haven’t unlocked that level. The Game of Life. What you’re experiencing right now is that to get to a relative level of balance, there is a constant ebb and flow. Your muscles are probably working very hard to balance just like your mind is working to find that focal point. Switch sides. You take your left leg up to your calf or inner thigh and arms up to the sky, or in front of you palms together in prayer position, find that focal point. Breathe in

 

and out. Are you struggling to find your balance? But feelings are coming up for you when you do? self doubt? Are you saying I can’t do this? What is wrong with me? Then ask Have you let go of your muscle energy? Have you lost sight of your drishti your focal point? Are you challenging yourself enough? Are you just okay being in balance Are you willing to push yourself further? If you’re balanced, see if you can look a little higher, or bring your arms up, or your legs up. Oh, did that push you out of balance? Are you out of your comfort zone? Wait, are you still breathing? That’s the most important thing in yoga, keep breathing, inhaling and exhaling. My friends, this is what balance really looks like. This is the constant process of being in and out of balance with a constant focus on realignment. And I guarantee you that the feelings that are coming up right now what you’re experiencing emotionally, it’s probably echoed in your daily life and in your love life as well. Try to approach approach yourself with kindness and compassion. Last few moments really grood down through the ground see yourself as a tree with strong roots whose leaves and branches can move in a breeze, but still say connected to the trunk. You’re strong, you’re connected, build out power. And release. Let it go back into dossena Mountain Pose. We’re going to move on to my least favorite type of pose, but one that is extremely important and you’ll see why it’s my least favorite and why it’s so important in just a moment. Now, take your right leg back into a lunch, you can either put the knee down to the mat, if that’s more secure for you, or you can keep it up. Now press your hands together in prayer position, and I want you to rotate your torso to the left over your left knee. Breathe in and imagine yourself wringing out your midsection as you pull your body left. Keep turning, keep turning. Keep turning and if you can now take your right elbow outside your left knee I know it sounds like twister. You are in a twisted position with your upper body. Moving to the left and you’re in a lunge in your lower body with your left leg forward. You are compressing your mid body. But I want you to try to lift up through your heart and bring it closer to your prayer hands can you twist a little more through your heart? What is coming up right now, um, for me, I get anxious in this position. I really want to move I really want to move I really want to pull out and away but I know that that feeling is just the remnants of my avoidant attachment style wanting to run away at the first sign of trouble. Maybe that’s coming up for you too, but still stay in it. Remain in the twist until you can feel the feelings coming up for you and keep breathing. You can try to lift your back knee and balance if you’re not there yet one more moment breathing in And out. On an exhale, release and switch sides. You can bring your right leg forward and your left knee to the ground or up, hands again, at prayer position, and now we’re going to rotate to the right for you in and on an exhale, wring out those in our drag them out all the way to the right, keep going and on an exhale how you can hook that left elbow outside your right knee, and then feel all the feels. Maybe for you, this is very comforting. You might not have the same associations that I do. Maybe for you, it brings up a feeling of being supported and locked in or connected to your core self. Or maybe it brings up a lot of discomfort for you. And for you the juice in this pose is about learning to To be nonreactive in a challenging situation, we want to choose to respond in challenging moments, rather than just react or explode. Whatever’s coming up for you Don’t be afraid of the feeling. Stick with it. Breathe in and out once more. What was that intention again?

 

Are you still remembering it? Are you here in the moment? Are you thinking about what comes next in your day? Try to be right here with me. Breathe in and on an exhale, wring out those innards, wring them out as you turn to the right. It’s backbend time. This is the most important movement for my clients looking for love as we are often afraid to open up our hearts. I’ve seen tremendous relief happen in people’s lives beginning with learning to open the heart physically, as it leads to open The heart emotionally. We are going to move into camel pose.

 

So now come up to sitting on your knees, we’re going to lift our body up. So you’re making a right angle at the back of your knee, your torso is straight up and your shins are parallel to the ground. Now, tuck your toes under, unless you already knows know this pose and you can do it with your feet flat. tuck your toes and put your hands on your hips. With your thumbs facing towards the back. You should be able to feel your tailbone. Now lift up through your heart. We’re not moving anywhere just yet. Just imagine your heart like Superman, bursting through your chest up to the sky and begin to dip your head slightly back and up to the sky without crunching your neck. This is a very vulnerable position isn’t it? When you open your heart to someone, one of your most Most important organs is exposed unprotected. And if you experienced heartbreak in the past, as I’m sure most of you have, this could be very hard for you. It could feel like you’re literally having to crack open your ribs to get your heart through. But the more you do it, the easier it will be. And we need this kind of opening to be able to let love in. So this pose could be enough for you. 

 

But if you want more or you know, camel pose, you can begin to take your hand back to your heel, still lifting up through your heart, and then slowly take the other arm back. So now you’re in a teardrop sort of shape, with your heart up to the sky and your head falling back behind you. Again, not crunching your neck. Your body is fully supported by your hands as they push into your heels feel that support Knowing that when you open your heart It’s okay. Because your network supports you, your friends, your family, me, we literally have your back. So you can just let go of having to protect and cover your heart all the time. It’s time to release. Breathe in again and out. Now we’re going to come up slowly Hold on, but here is the most important thing. Your head comes up last. I guarantee you if you do this too fast, you will lead with your head just like you do in love. Today, we are going to lead with our hearts trying to come up from your hips and your heart all at once. Think of rooting down like a tree through your knees and then pulling your heart forward with you while your head trails behind. Did you Read with your head. Hmm, if so, try it again. Heart first heart, first head last heart burst. And once you’re up high, you can come back down to sitting, and then move into lying on your back. Your feet are stretched out on the ground, your arms are at your side, your palms are up to the sky. Relax into your final resting post Shavasana feel the effects of this practice, wash over your body. This is just a primer of some key poses to get you into the feelings of dating and relationships and the patterns that may not be serving you that have become imprinted on your body. So to review, we played with getting in touch with our core, closing the eyes to access trust and surrender. Balance And needing to accept that ebb and flow of life, twisting to access our attachment style instincts and our ability to stay calm in the face of challenges. And finally, we open the heart to allow others to come in and see our true self. There’s so much more that we could do. But this is just a starting place. If you do this practice again, once a week, you will notice that there is a change that will happen in the way that you’re connecting to your body, and how that’s affecting your mind and the patterns that you have in love. All that will show up in your practice and it will show up in your real life. The next time you’re in a regular yoga class, if you are a yogi, think of the deeper association of these postures. Fitness is amazing. But Yoga is so much more than that and it can lead to a deep discovery. And acceptance of yourself, which is really what this whole life journey is about. Right?

 

Close your eyes for a moment. And remember that intention word that we started this practice with. Imagine it, bathing your body, head to toe and washing over you. Now let it all go and just be you’re here. There’s only one you you can stay stuck in a body that has locked in hurt and anger and sadness. Or you can release all that and write a new story for yourself. From here on out. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are you Thank you for listening to this special love lesson with me. Next time, we will have a love lesson for your spirit. This is all leading up to our season eight launch on August 3, we have a super fantastic special guest for that show, who I cannot wait to reveal to you. But in the meantime, you should follow me on social media. And I will announce first on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook who that guests will be. plus I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episode so you can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I would love your support of this show through Patreon. I am also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits Facebook group that will give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. And they’ll also include live private q&a is with me. Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast library that is now open. We have over 300 episodes of dates in mates. Our public feed has the most recent 100, which is damn good, but there’s so much more and I’d love for you to have access to that you can become a member for only $5, a month@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. The link will be in the show notes. But I wanted to bring you these love lessons without add interruptions in the middle, because I wanted you to be able to experience that journey with me without interruption. So if you want to support that, and keep making the show free to everyone, and you have five bucks laying around that you could pledge to the show, I would deeply value your support@patreon.com slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your recent five star reviews. I have just I’m so honored that you took the time to be with me and to share your thoughts about the show with others. And thank you for also sharing these episode So with other people who could benefit from them. Thank you so much for listening. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Love Lessons: Visualize Your Mate

LOVE LESSONS

Many of you have reached out recently expressing quarantine fatigue which is compounded by being single. You have a deep desire for someone to navigate this period of fear and frustration. You can only do so many zoom calls with friends to make up for the fact that you’re solo all day every day. And dating apps have lost their allure with the possibility that you may not be able to meet in person for weeks or even months.

So this month, we are going to have a completely different format from the usual Dates & Mates. This series is designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want. This unexpected break from the rat race of love and life we had been caught in is giving us an opportunity to get clarity and explore parts of ourselves that had been buried away.

Today Damona invites you to begin a four-part journey with us called  Love Lessons. Today’s lesson is a visualization exercise.

via GIPHY

WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!

Damona  0:12

Hello lovers, welcome to dates and mates. I can’t believe it. But we are coming to the end of our seventh season of the show. And to close out the season, we have a special micro series called love lessons, which consisted of an interview last week. And three special mind body and spirit love lessons for the remainder of the month. If you’re new to the show,

Damona  0:39  

welcome.

Damona  0:40  

But I want to advise you that this isn’t the regular format, which usually includes headlines, interviews and q&a. So if you’re new, I encourage you to go back and listen to some additional episodes from this season first and then come back and join me for this unusual podcast experience for Those of you who already know the show, and are ready to go deeper with me, I want you to join me for this three episode exploration into your mind, body and spirit as it relates to love. Let’s go. Today we’re going to do a visualization to help you see your ideal mate. You can use this as a meditation or tool anytime you need clarity and focus in your dating life, or as a regular weekly meditation to train your mind to see this person when they cross your path. So now I want you to turn off all other distractions. You can do this with your eyes closed if you’re in a place where you can sit or lie down. Or you can do it as a walking, hiking, running, maybe even driving meditation. If you’re not somewhere that you can sit and stop moving,

Damona  1:51  

but just be careful.

Damona  1:54  

And the important thing is that you find a sense of quiet if you’re not big into meditation, That’s okay. I’ve studied yoga for 20 years. And I’ll be honest that only in the last one or two years has meditation made its way into my life in a regular and meaningful way.

Damona  2:12  

So you just start where you are,

Damona  2:15  

and you don’t need to be an expert.

Damona  2:17  

There’s no good or bad way to meditate or

Damona  2:19  

visualize. I used to think I was a bad meditator if thoughts float in, but you have to remember that you’re human, and you will never cease your brain from thinking. So just allow yourself to go on a journey with me and let your brain float without judgment of what you’re thinking what you’re doing, what you should be doing or what you want the outcome to be. Just be for the next few minutes. I just want you to be right here with me, letting my voice guide you to unexpected places. Get a comfortable seat and take a deep breath in

Damona  3:01  

And out.

Damona  3:04  

You are here. You’re here with me. And we’re going to take a journey into your future. But to get to the future, first we’re going to start in the present. How does your body feel right now? Are you tired, achy, or tense? Are you relaxed and at ease? Take another breath in. And imagine yourself shedding any worries of the day that you’ve been holding on to those worries of the past that get stuck in our bodies, and they keep us from being present or from moving into the future, which is what we’re going to do today. So in this moment, there are no worries. There’s only you and me,

Damona  3:51  

and this trip we’re going to take

Damona  3:52  

so let it go.

Damona  3:56  

Now I have something to share with you.

Damona  3:59  

No big deal. But I have a time travel portal. This portal is a powerful tool because I can let you through it anytime you want. And you can go visit your future with just the power of your mind. In fact, you can even borrow the portal whenever you want, and go visit your future self. This time machine portal looks like an ordinary door, but it has the power to unlock the life you want. So in your mind, I want you to picture the door right now. Imagine it

Damona  4:34  

what feelings come up for you as you look at it,

Damona  4:38  

approach it and as you walk up to it,

Damona  4:42  

it opens on its own

Damona  4:45  

and the other side of it is bright and inviting. I want you to take a step closer

Damona  4:54  

and now taking another deep breath

Damona  4:58  

and exhale as you will walk

Damona  5:00  

through it.

Damona  5:02  

Now you’re standing on the other side, and you’re bathed in a white light as you travel with me into your future, this light is taking away the past ideas that you have had about yourself, the prior wounds that you’ve carried from relationship to relationship, the threads that tether you to the past watches they’re all floating away in that white light. And now, another door appears in front of you. Don’t worry, this one isn’t a magic portal. This is your front door, the front door of your home one year in the future. The white light is giving way to color and you could see your home or your apartment door clearly in front of you. This is your door one year in the future so it may not look Like the front door you currently have. But that familiar feeling of coming home after a long trip, it washes over you right now. Can you stand in front of the door, happy to be there. Maybe you’re flooded with a mix of emotions. You’re standing there one year in the future, at the door of your future home with your future partner.

Damona  6:26  

You ready to meet this person.

Damona  6:30  

You move forward to the door and it opens up

Damona  6:34  

and your home is sparkling clean Of course, and bright and you instantly feel at ease in the space. But you know you’re not alone here. Your partner has been waiting for you. You call out to him or her.

Damona  6:51  

And after a few moments, this person comes to greet you.

Damona  6:55  

Here you are a year in the future. Living with your dream. partner, they approach you and say hello. And then your love wraps their arms around you to welcome you home. You smell their smell? You feel their embrace. You hear their voice?

Damona  7:16  

How does it feel?

Damona  7:19  

How does it feel to be held by the person who have waited for so long to meet? How does it feel to be surrounded with love?

Damona  7:32  

What does their hug tell you about them?

Damona  7:37  

look into their eyes.

Damona  7:40  

What do you know about them from gazing at them? Now that you’ve been together and you know one another on a deep level, what do you simply understand from the way he or she looks at you? How does this person make you feel?

Damona  7:57  

How do you feel right now?

Damona  8:01  

Stare deeper into their eyes until you can feel their heart.

Damona  8:09  

What does this person believe?

Damona  8:13  

How are their values aligned with yours? Don’t think and feel it?

Damona  8:23  

What does this person want from life?

Damona  8:28  

What do they dream of creating with you?

Damona  8:32  

How does it feel to be in their presence? Do you feel supported? Do you feel stimulated? Do you feel relieved? What does this person bring into your life that you’ve never had before?

Damona  8:50  

As you step out of the hug,

Damona  8:51  

you prepare

Damona  8:53  

to speak to them. And this is a private conversation between only you and your love. You open your mouth and the words you’ve been waiting and wanting to say finally come out. And only you know what these words are. Try to remember them as they will stay with you after we’ve left this place.

Damona  9:22  

What does your partner say in return?

Damona  9:30  

Hold on to those words.

Damona  9:34  

What else do you want to share with your

Damona  9:35  

partner?

Damona  9:37  

I’ll give you a moment to lose yourself in this personal conversation. If you prefer to stay quiet and just be with your partner, that’s okay too. This is your time.

Damona  10:16  

You and your partner both signs that it’s time for the visit to end. So you begin to say your goodbyes, but it’s not Goodbye forever, because you’ll see them in real life very soon. Take a moment to send your partner off. Get a last look at this person for now and take in what it’s like to be with this person. How has it felt to share space with your soulmate?

Damona  10:47  

Is there anything else you need to say to them before you go

Damona  10:53  

give them one last kiss or a hug

Damona  10:56  

as it’s time to depart and come back through the portal.

Damona  11:02  

You walk back through your front door

Damona  11:06  

and step out again into the strong white light. It envelops you with the feeling you had of being with your love. And it reminds you that you can take this feeling with you. Even though you are not yet with that partner in the present, the feeling of being with them can linger. That feeling will signify when you have met this person. And you will feel that same feeling in the present when you and your partner cross paths.

Damona  11:36  

But until that time,

Damona  11:37  

you can take your feelings along with

Damona  11:40  

you and the personal words that you and your partner shared. The white light is now starting to give way to the shape of the magical portal in front of you. Gather your thoughts and feelings up like luggage as you prepare to cross through the portal. into the present. And remember that you can take along, anything that you want to come with you. And then anything that you want to leave behind can remain here in the white light. Anything that you need to release that is not serving you can be left behind

Damona  12:18  

anything that was a hitchhiker from the past

Damona  12:21  

that doesn’t belong in your future. You can leave it at the door and your burden will be relieved. Only cross that magical portal with the things that you want to take with you.

Damona  12:38  

Do you have what you need?

Damona  12:42  

And then it’s time to come back to the now.

Damona  12:46  

Step through the door and meet me back in the present moment. As you stand on the presence side of the portal, the awareness of your body is starting to return Feel your feet grounded to the earth. Feel your fingers tingling, you can wiggle them a bit. Breathe. You can stretch yourself out and take in another deep breath grounding yourself in the present moment. You are back in the here and now. But you’re not alone. You have the memories of the future you’re building

Damona  13:27  

along with you.

Damona  13:30  

If your eyes are closed, you can begin to flutter them open slowly.

Damona  13:35  

And again, you are here.

Damona  13:40  

Now that this journey is fresh in your mind, you can choose to write down anything that you wish to remember about your trip. Any feelings or impressions about your future mate that you want to record. You can write them down now. And remember that this visualization is always here for you. Anytime you need to tell some thing to your future partner, you can take this journey with me again, or go through that portal on your own. The first step in finding your ideal mate is to know what you’re looking for, and get into the feeling of being with this person. You need clarity on the qualities and values of your ideal partner before you can design a plan to find this person. But it’s most important that you develop the faith that they are out there for you and the connection to bring them into your life. Look for that feeling that you had in the embrace you shared a moment ago. That feeling will be repeated when you’re with your ideal match. This is the first step of three on a mind body and spirit journey. This visualization is your mental journey. Next time we will go on an exploration of the body that will open you up to love. Thank you so much for listening and thank you For taking this time for yourself. On August 3, season eight of dates and mates will begin. I have a super, super, super, super, super special guest for you for that show and I cannot wait to reveal who this person is. Soon. Not yet but soon. In the meantime, I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episodes. You can message me on social media. I’m at Dimona Hoffman, or you can send me an email Dimona at damona Hoffman calm, the link will be in the show notes. In closing, I humbly ask you to support the show through Patreon. I wanted to bring you these love lessons without any ad interruptions in the middle. So it will help me to continue to make dates and mates free for so many. If you can pledge just $5 a month to support the show. In addition to the special video trainings and discounts on my future programs and access to my library of older data mates episodes. I’m also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits Facebook group that will give you a behind the scenes take on recent dates and mates episodes, and it will include live private q&a with me. So I encourage you to please join the community for only $5 at patreon.com slash dates and mates again, that link will also be in the show notes. Thank you so much for your support. I am so appreciative for the recent five star reviews. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you can think of a friend who could use this week’s visualization. Please do share this episode with them. Until next week, I wish you happy dating