How can you know your soul mate if you do not know your soul?


Tananarive, Aristotle, and Me


We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.

– Aristotle  “De Anima”


The wonderful reproductive biologist Jack Cohen once told me that if modern translations of Aristotle had been available to Rene Descarte, the Cartesian “error” of the body/mind division would never have taken place.


That to Aristotle, the “soul” was the expression of function, as in “sight is the soul of the eye.”  To view “soul” as “natural or righteous function of an organ” is fascinating, and reveals an entirely new aspect to the concept of “Soulmate.”


What was “love” to this great thinker?   “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies,” he said.  (He may have been referring to more of what we call “friendship”, but the same idea applies.)  This then would be similar to the West African concept of “Num” which is “a single soul looking out through many eyes.”—The unity of mankind, or life itself.


In life, we would seem to begin with this essential “sameness” at birth, and perhaps to return to it in death.  But between those times, there is near-infinite variety of expression.  And relationships are much like keys and locks—people have to fit together to form a whole that can endure.

To this end, it is vital to “know yourself.”  To have either an instinctive or conscious knowledge of your values and emotions, goals and dreams, wants and needs.   From a world of billions, how else are you to determine who might fit your life?   Raw attraction fades.  Selecting solely for beauty or power leads to some of the most unsatisfying relationships imaginable.


What we want and need is someone who “gets us”—is similar enough to us to share those core values, but different enough to “fill in the gaps” in our own emotions and psychology.  Personally, I don’t want someone who is always “up” when I’m up or “down” when I’m down.    I’d rather have a slight mis-match there, so that if she is down, I am “up” and able to support and coax and nurture her back to emotional balance.  And vice versa.  Of course, if you’re NEVER in sync you don’t have much basis for relationship.  There is a balance.


The point here is that you must know yourself, must express yourself in words, actions, intonations, and so forth.  See the impact they are having in the world.  Adjust.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  To a huge degree, who we are is,  what we do, and the meaning of what we do is the effect it has on the world.   Every infant knows this: they act, they observe the effect their actions have, they adjust and act again.


If your “soul” is the function of your mind and organs and actions upon the world, and love is a single soul in two bodies, then a “soul mate” would be viewed as someone whose values, beliefs, emotions, and actions are in sufficient alignment that in their presence you become MORE of what you are rather than less. They take you move deeply into your own essence.


Tananarive does this for me.   She and I have similar commitments to teaching and writing, to health, to family.  But she approaches these things from a different direction.  I’m something of an ally cat, having pieced my psyche together from hundreds of different teachers and experienced, while she was nurtured by her family and community in a way I never dreamed of.


There are ways that I “lead” her, and others in which she “leads” me, forces me to think, to evaluate my approaches to life or writing or parenting or love itself.   She is different, but her life works, and in many ways works spectacularly well.   I cannot deny it when I see it in close-up on a daily basis.  I am watching, from Aristotle’s point of view, her “soul”—her expression of function.


I first saw her “soul” in her basic, honest expression of interest in my life and career when we first met.  Saw more in her interactions with fans and new friends.  More watching her dance, seeing her healthy animal expression—seeing that she had emotional permission to “tap into” that basic energy and allow it to express itself through her body.  And then when I heard her express her tactical path to getting Stephen King’s quote on “My Soul To Keep” I saw a vast number of separate steps aligning to create a specific effect.  I glimpsed the pattern: energy, talent, work, creativity, courage, artistic expression, physical grace and perception all combining to create an opportunity to operate in King’s circle, catch his attention and create an invitation to let him see her work. And if she hadn’t had the chops, hadn’t been ready, that created opportunity would have amounted to nothing.


In that moment, I saw her soul. Saw the creative little girl she had been, guided by a woman’s discipline and focus, creating opportunity.   Life doesn’t give you a single chance at the Gold Ring—there are many chances, perhaps endless chances, but you have to recognize them, be ready for them, and also be working your @#$$ off so that you don’t need them.


I saw her.    And recognized my own soul, in her body.  I was lost from that moment.


Know yourself.   Deeply.  Make no excuses for your failures, have no false modesty about your successes. Without this knowledge, you won’t recognize a kindred spirit, nor will you detect  predators or walking wounded wearing  masks.


How can you know your Soul Mate if you don’t know your Soul?




Objects in motion get where they’re going

Soulmate’s Commandments #10: Thou Shalt Take Daily Action To Become Thy Best and Truest Self.


And now we’ve come to the final dictate, the 10th statement in the Soulmate’s Ten Commandments.  Let’s take a look back at what we’ve done: clarified who we are and what we desire, committed to paying the price to be our true selves, demand that we settle for nothing less than a true expression of Self, and decide upon indirect action.  Now what there is is to find the flow within our lives, to spend our days being who and what we were born to be. Finding a partner?   First find yourself.


Years ago, Tananarive went to a fortune teller on a lark. She was told that she would find the love of her life AFTER she had evolved to the next level of excellence.  Specifically, after she had become a writer.  And so it happened.


One doesn’t need to be a fortune teller to know why this was excellent advice:


1) Even if she never met her future partner, she is engaging with life and fulfilling her dreams.


2) Being happy and engaged radiates positive “vibes”.   It makes us more attractive.


3) Writing exposes your name to the public.  People meet you, read you, and talk about you.  The name “Tananarive Due” was in the public consciousness, and a mutual fan eventually asked me if I’d heard of her.  In the same way, she watched one of my “Outer Limits” episodes and wanted to know who had written such a wierd, twisted, sick story.  Ahem.


4) Writers associate with other writers.  Eventually, our circles overlapped and we had the opportunity to meet, at a black SF conference in Atlanta.  The rest is pretty much history.


But if she had moped around waiting to meet someone…


If she hadn’t operated her life so that her actions and presentation revealed her values…


If she hadn’t been unwilling to “settle” in relationships with men who did not love her, cherish her and see her genius…


Both our lives would have been very different.  It takes courage and faith to walk alone in the world, while maintaining an open heart.  To keep faith that love is not only possible, but a natural consequence of living in a particular dynamic way.  To keep your eyes on the couples who commit for a lifetime, rather than the pity parties of men and women convinced that the opposite sex is worthless.


To see that, to a remarkable degree,  we create the world we experience.  What you do on a daily basis, and the way you do it, will determine who you are, and how the world sees you…and who you attract into your life.  Your emotions will determine what you are willing to accept. Your clarity will decide whether you can recognize what and who you are dealing with.


There you have it, in most basic form: The Soulmate Process.  It says that YOU are responsible for your relationship history, and that only you can change it.


The choice is yours.




Change is inevitable and automatic. Growth can use a plan.


Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Soberly Examine the “Gap”…


  1. Thou Shalt Soberly Examine The “Gap” Between Where Thou Art, And Where Thou Needst To Be.

Now…this is the tricky part.  You’ve performed #8—writing out your precise desires in the realm of relationship.   Body, Mind, and Relationships, relating these things to real, measureable results. For the first time in your life, you aren’t compromising AT ALL.


Take a deep breath…and look around at your circle of friends and associates and neighbors.   FIND THE PERSON WHO COMES THE CLOSEST TO WHAT YOU HAVE DESCRIBED, WHETHER THEY ARE MARRIED OR NOT.   Sit them down for the most important conversation of your life.  You are going to ask them to describe what THEY are looking for in a “perfect partner.” You have to have the courage to hear what they are about to say, to face the terror that what your ideal describes will be something you might never be able to be.


The first time I did this technique, it was right after my first marriage had gone belly-up, and I was shattered emotionally, more insecure than I’d ever been.  I didn’t know who I was.


But I knew what I was attracted to.   I created a list of everything I wanted in a woman, and then had an amazing idea. A life-changing idea.


I would find the person who came closest to what I had, and ask them what they were looking for in a partner.   Get them to be as specific as I’d been, in all three arenas.


And I would take a close look at what she said. Why?  Because, if I’d chosen carefully, what I described was what my heart most yearned for. And if that person could be trusted to speak her truth, what SHE described was what I most yearned to be—the kind of man who could have a woman like THAT for a partner.


Grasp something carefully—it wasn’t about changing yourself for some particular person.   It is about understanding who and what you really wanted to be before life stole some of your juice.  Before you lost that confidence that you can have or be anything, and fulfill your dreams.   In other words, before you copped out on yourself.


Because once you’ve got that description, in all likelihood what is described is a more congruent, refined, powerful, confident, emotionally healed and focused version of you.   All you have to do is subtract where you are from what is described, and you have the goals that would set you on the path to being a fuller, happier, more self-realized version of yourself.


Even better—ask three different people, and look at what they all say in common.  If you look at them, and in your heart know that these goals are in alignment with your values, but perhaps scare you, just a bit…perfect.


In my own case, the lady in question could indeed tell me what she was looking for.  And to my shock, it wasn’t terribly different from who and what I was.  There were two major things.


1) She wanted someone with more of a spiritual base than I had.  To my surprise, I realized I’d been in so much pain that I’d forgotten to meditate.


2) She wanted someone with less body fat than I had at the time.  And…I realized I’d been so depressed I’d stopped running!


I put these two pieces into place, began meditating and running, (and managing my eating a bit more) and began to shift emotionally.   I didn’t have to be the “perfect Steve.”  I had to be moving in the direction of positive growth.  When you do, you are happy.  Your energy increases.  You feel grateful, and it is easier to have faith.  It is easier to take additional actions.


And you believe in yourself enough to set new goals. I had found the missing piece.   Everything else: my healing, what I discovered about ethical seduction, and finding my Soul Mate…everything came out of this initial piece.  It was frightening (what if she’d said something I could never be?) but I realized that the fear was just another of the emotions I had to learn to control to reach my fullest potential.


1) Make a list

2) Find the person/people who come the closest, and ask them what THEY want in a partner, collecting data in all three arenas

3) Subtract where you are from what they say.

4) Divide up this “gap” into pieces you can begin to acquire at the rate of about 1% per week.

5) Walk the thousand-mile road.   It is while you are totally inmeshed in being you, deepening your skills and passions, and learning how to give greater service to the world that you will fulfill your destiny.


Was I prepared to hear something harsh?  That my goals and dreams and actions were mis-aligned?   Yes.  Because NOTHING is worth losing yourself.  And life, in a thousand different ways, distracts us from our heart path. And it is while following our heart paths that we find our souls…


And our Soul Mates.




If you wouldn’t be attracted to you, why should anyone else be?


  1. As Love Is A Shy Creature, Thou Shalt Commit To Indirect Action.


I’m not saying that the people use dating services, matchmakers, singles bars and so forth specifically seeking partnership are wrong.   I’m saying that you need to concentrate on the things that you can control, and you cannot control the actions and reactions of others.


What you CAN do is become the person you were intended to be, or be firmly upon that path, with your heart happy and accepting of where you are, right here, right now.  And that combination of dynamism and centeredness is addictively attractive.


Another thing: the “Secret Formula” is a luck magnet.   I’m telling you, when you have clear goals, believe you can and should do it, are taking constant action (and of course noticing your results and making micro-adjustments, while committing to constant improvement) and living every day with an “attitude of gratitude” you attract allies like crazy.  And most strangely, “luck” multiplies.  Opportunities come to you with the predictability of American Express and Visa offers arriving in the mail if you raise your credit score.  When you don’t need money, people offer you credit.  When you don’t have a job, you can’t get a job, but as soon as you have one other people offer employment.  When you don’t have a relationship you can’t get one, but as soon as you have one people mysteriously start showing interest.


“A watched pot never boils” is another way of looking at this.  Or the line from Broadcast News I love so much: “wouldn’t it be great if needy were a turn-on?”  Well, it isn’t, except for the wounded, and predators.  What IS a turn on to healthy people is other healthy people.   “Who are you, and where are you going?”  are questions lurking just under the surface of  the social chit-chat that we engage in for the first hours of a new relationship.


You have to know who you are, and where you are going.  That creates an “energy signature”, a “vibe” that you are putting out to the world: this is who I am.  These are my values.  This is where I’m going.  If this looks interesting to you, let’s talk.


Not very complicated, really.


1) Seek to be balanced in your physical, emotional, and career aspects.  This maximizes your attractiveness (we should do all we can to be attractive BY OUR OWN STANDARDS), opens our hearts to the beauty of life (an amazing aphrodesiac, seriously), and improves our “nest building” (finances.)


2) Start your day by re-writing your goals, or preferably a “daily ritual” of thought, motion, and focused emotion.  Know what your most important three-five actions of the day are, and do them before you do anything less important. We must prioritize according to our values. This will place you on the “radar” of others with similar values, saving you a gigantic amount of wasted time.


3) Here’s a fantasy way of looking at this: when you chase after relationships you lose energy and “mass.”   As you focus on becoming, you increase energy and “mass.”  Gravity can be seen as a bend in space-time, and the greater the mass the more powerful the attraction.


4) Concentrating on all three aspects of self demands deeper engagement with the world.   Every dollar you ever earn will come from another human being, so you have to understand human needs and drives, build short and long-term alliances, and build “master mind” groups to fill the gaps in your own knowledge and capacity.  As you learn new skills you will need coaches, teachers, and come in contact with students at your own level.  As you express a hobby or interest, you will come in contact with others with similar enthusiasms.


5) You are probably no more than three degrees of separation from a Soulmate.   Quite possibly only two.   Let your light shine, purely and energetically, broadcast to the world who you are, be the equivalent of the man or woman you would be attracted to, and someone in your circle will be struck by how much you remind them of, or would be a good match for, someone in their circle.  Countless relationships have begun at work, church, the gym, because friends introduced…you just don’t know.


6) Be happy who you are, where you are.   Don’t go looking for love, instead be loving and share that sense of abundance with the world.  A man or woman who walks into the room with purpose, energy, enthusiasm, sensitivity to others, genuine interest in life, and deep self-love that bubbles over to others will hit the room like a BOMB.   Everyone wants to know who that is.


7) Be honest about who you are and what you want.   Courteous and empathetic to all, draw boundaries.  Don’t give yourself away just because someone asks. Have standards, hold yourself to them, and make it clear through action (more than words) that you will not be dragged down or away from your path and destiny.


8) If you are doing the things that increase self-knowledge, self-love, healing and open-hearted compassion, while increasing energy and engaging in daily action you are sending out a clear message to the universe.  In a forest of a thousand trees and a million birds, the bird who sings a clear, bright, loud song can be heard miles away, and will attract a mate who is looking for THAT.


9) Every day, every thought, every action should be some version of one of the two major questions: “who am I?”  and “what is true?”  Everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING, connects with one or the others. And as you can probably guess, they are actually different versions of the same question, a question that can’t quite be put into words.  When you resolve the duality, you enter another realm of thought and experience.


10)  Your goals, beliefs, values, actions and emotions should be aligned.  You should be genuinely willing to spend your life following your bliss and sharing joy with the world, even if you walk alone.   Alone isn’t “lonely.” When you are content being alone, committed to your healing, have high standards THAT YOU MEET and give yourself the love wounded people seek from others…you are operating on another level.   And the “tribe” you have just entered is welcoming and warm almost beyond belief, filled with others who are tired of the games, and prepared to welcome you.  And it is here, while you are too busy to watch the pot, that that sucker will boil over.


And heat like that is something absolutely not to be missed.




Everyone deserves love, but it doesn’t have to be yours.

Soulmate Commandment #6: Thou shalt demand the very best from thyself…


  1.   Thou Shalt Demand The Very Best From Thyself–And Refuse To Settle For Less Than That From Others.


I have to say this again and again: you have the right, and the responsibility to bond only to the very healthiest and most appropriate person your heart can attract and hold.   Almost every day,   someone posts about their crazy husband or wife or ex-husband or ex-wife, who they made children with, and now hold those children hostage in a savage divorce or custody battle.  The kids are whiplashed, impoverished, abused or neglected.  When questioned, it is clear that there were obvious clues that SOMETHING WAS WRONG from the beginning, or at the very least that the man or woman in question allowed simple attraction to overrule common sense. What is pitiful is when they say something along the line of “well, I thought that they deserved love too…”


Well, sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be YOURS, for goodness sakes.   What other comments: “he told me he wouldn’t treat me the way he treated the others…”   “I didn’t know anyone who knew him…”  “she promised she would change…”  “she got pregnant…” “I was lonely…” “I was just coming out of another relationship…”


And so forth and so on. Recipes for disaster. Here are some things to consider:


1) The best predictor of the future is the past.  Try to meet people who your intended dated or married prior to you.  If you can’t, consider that an orange flag.


2) People who mistreat other people will eventually mistreat you.  If they gossip about others, they’ll gossip about you. Watch the way they treat their pets, too.


3) Everyone feels alone and afraid. There are only two  questions: a) what do they do with their loneliness and their fear?   b) What story do they try to sell you about it?  If a) and b) do not match, another orange flag.


4) Any potentially reproductive activity triggers bonding responses.  Don’t kid yourself.  Your hind-brain doesn’t speak “birth control.”   The crazy behavior we often see in supposedly “casual” relationships is competing value structures crashing and burning.


5) Be scathingly honest about why your body, career, and relationship history.   In the depths  of your own heart, accept no lies or blame on others.  Musashi’s first principle: DO NOT THINK DISHONESTLY. The more honest you are, the more you take responsibility for who and what you are in the world, the easier it is to see through the lies, excuses, distortions and manipulations used by others. The more of a liar someone is, the less congruence there will be between words and actions.  Humans are exquisitely tuned to detect such clues, unless we are blocking out the information.   “I’m not perfect, what right do I have to expect others to be?”  None.  But you can demand honesty and growth from yourself—and from anyone who wants to enter your intimate space.  For the sake of children unborn—and your own heart—you must be prepared to demand nothing less.


6)  “Ruthless Compassion” is a principle I hold dear.  When you force your children to do their homework, or deny them ice cream for breakfast, it doesn’t matter that they scream and beg. That’s their job.  Your job is to be the @#$$ adult.   Period.  The same is true for your non-optimal hungers. If you let the nattering voices in your head control you, you are pretty much screwed.


7) Pay attention to actions more than words.  If the actions and words do not match, assume that you are being lied to.   Only then pay attention to those words—what is the story the intended is trying to sell?   TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.  Unfortunately, you will only calibrate them by making mistakes, so start with small judgements and slowly work your way up as you refine your sensitivity.


8) You’ll never get to 100% predictive capacity.  You will, however, be able to understand everything that people have done, in retrospect. When you see how love and fear mold you and the people closest to you, you have a basis for understanding others.


9) Test your judgement, beginning with asking why you  did the things you did in your own life, without excuses.  Everything you’ve ever done, you did because you considered it your best bet for increasing pleasure and reducing pain.  Every discipline you’ve accepted was in the belief that pain now means pleasure later.  You’ve done the best you could with the resources you have.  Love yourself enough to forgive yourself, and you can look at the worst behavior without blinking.  This will open the door to understanding and appreciating others.


10) Forgive your past relationships.  Remember that YOU chose them.   They weren’t forced upon you.  Remember also that, like you, they did the best they could with what they had to work with. If you can’t let go of the anger, it is because you are afraid that, without anger, you will make the same mistakes again. Be hurt again.  LEARN THE LESSONS AND YOU CAN RELEASE THE PAIN.  You can avoid pain, resist predation, even kill an enemy…without fear or anger. You will know whether you have evolved to the next level, and learned the lesson, if you can see what happened in those earlier relationships without blame, guilt, or shame.


11) You can trust other people to the exact degree that you can trust your ability to evaluate them.  What are their values, beliefs, goals, and capacities?  And you will gain clarity there if you don’t need other people to ignore your flaws.   Most relationships are based on “don’t call me on my b.s. And I won’t call you on yours.”


No.  As you would for your own child, you should aspire to being all you have the capacity to be.  And the only way to do that is to surround yourself with people who see and beleive in the very best from you.  You support them, and let them support you.  Love yourselves and accept yourselves for where you are…but remember that when you’re green, you grow.  When you’re ripe, you rot.


Stay green.  Keep growing.




Start with love, or end with pain


Soulmate Commandment #5: Thou Shalt Love Thyself, and Heal Thy Own Heart


It would be impossible for me to overestimate the importance of this step.   Almost every day I get posts, emails or queries that relate to this aspect of our being.


1) Emotional damage can be the result of early abuse (social, familial, personal), failed love relationships, parental absence or neglect, conflicting belief or value patterns, and so forth.


2) Evidence of such damage can be choosing inappropriate partners, inability to accept love, inability to trust (if you are worthless, then anyone who expresses interest in you must be a fool or a predator, right?), rushing into sexual connection, inability to accept a healthful discipline, self-damage (obesity, bulimia, cutting, addictions, etc.)


3) A beautiful and elegant way to determine if you are dealing with such an issue is the following question: “would I wish this behavior/emotion/relationship upon my own most beloved child?”


When we go to relationships seeking to fill holes in our hearts, we are placing an unfair burden upon the partner. It is OUR job to heal ourselves, if we are to be adults in the world.  Wounds attract wounds…and predators.  Be cautious.


There are many ways to approach healing, but the best assume that we already possess the strength and wisdom necessary to repair ourselves.  In essence, we find the HEALTHY part of our psyche, and nurture that aspect, while simultaneously starving and scrambling the negative memories and thoughts until they can no longer control us.


Some of the options include:


1) Therapy and coaching.   If your issues are deep and pervasive, if they involve self-damage or a string of ugly relationships, you may want to bring a serious professional into your resource circle.


2) Meditation.   Grow quiet enough, and you can hear the different “voices” within your head.  Identify with the one LISTENING  to the voices, instead of the voices. Who are they?  What are they saying?  Do you consciously agree with their positions?   To achieve a goal, you must have your values, beliefs, and positive/negative emotional anchors all aligned. Do you have conflicts on these levels?  Where did they originate?  Would you consciously accept these patterns as an adult, or were they implanted in childhood?


3) Various visualization/mentalization techniques.  The “Ancient Child” meditation is designed to  help you make contact with the undamaged part of your personality, and allow it to grow and propogate. Visualizing light, color and so forth, filling your body with warmth and healing has been a positive path for countless people.


4) Affirmations.  The “Morning Ritual” is a powerful, powerful tool.   Basically, you move your body in a positive way: walking, running, Tai Chi, etc. Simultaneously, you speak and think a series of affirmations.  A very workable sequence is

  1. A)  One-five minutes of “every day in every way I’m getting better and better.”
  2. B) One-five minutes of gratitude for past blessings.  (“I’m so grateful for X and Y…”)
  3. C) One-five minutes of gratitude for FUTURE blessings (goals)
  4. D) One-five minutes of “All I need is within me now” chanting.  (“All the love I need is within me now.  All the healing I need is within me now…”)


Note: you have to infuse these statements with EMOTION and be MOVING POSITIVELY and intensely. Just as someone screaming negativity at you day after day will have an effect on your psyche, positive statements will as well—but you have to add the “magic” of emotion and motion.


5) Heartbeat Meditation.  My personal favorite, and the way I begin every morning.  Growing quiet enough to feel my heart pulsing my body. Rotate my consciousness through my body, feeling that pulse in every limb.  Better still, quiet my breathing enough that I can perform joint mobility work WHILE simultaneously “feeling” my pulse.  Fascinating work.


6) Deliberately “gifting” yourself with pleasures you craved as a child.  But…make them positive.  Not just eating or staying in bed.  When was the last time you went to the zoo?  Caught a matinee of a silly movie? Walked barefoot in the surf?  Played on a swing? Do something purely pleasureable, for its own sake.


7) Think of a child you love.  A niece or nephew.  A brother or sister.   Your own son or daughter.   SOMEONE.  Imagine them being threatened. Pump up the emotions until you can imagine yourself entering a life and death struggle to protect them—willing to kill or die.   Now…apply that emotion to yourself.  Commit to doing WHATEVER IT TAKES to protect your own heart.   Swear by whatever you hold sacred that you will die before you let anyone hurt that precious, sweet, innocent child that once you were.  Be the dragon at the gate of your heart.   Visualize a guardian with a flaming sword, guarding the playground.   I spent a year bringing toys to a visualized “beach” to re-connect with my heart, every day.  A year.  That’s how long it took before my “inner child” visualization was willing to trust me again.  And when he did…I swore I would never, ever leave him again.  “Daddy is here,” I said.  And that was the sweetest hug of my life.


There is no substitute for owning yourself.  Re-claiming your life, your mind, your heart.  If your relationship history, or present status, is anything but wonderful, I strongly suggest that you are not holding yourself as precious.  The good news is that if you can read these words, you have the capacity to find, integrate and utilize the resources necessary to heal, and live in greater harmony with your own essence.


It may take twelve months of purposeful withdrawal from the “Dating Game.”   Personally, I think there is nothing more worthwhile you could do with a new year.




There is a price for everything you want, and that price is paid in advance


Soulmate’s Commandments #4: Thou Shalt Take Responsibility For Thy Relationship History


Years back I met a lady who was a professional therapist.  Her opinion of the male of the species was…rather low, shall we say.


“Men are pretty dumb and unpleasant,” she said.   “And I have the experience to know, because I’ve been married six times.”


I had to laugh at her.  “There was only one thing in common between all your relationships,” I said.  “You were there.”


It is very very easy to find a tribe of men or women willing to trash the opposite gender.   Frankly, I suspect that deep down these are people who don’t think much of humanity in general, but that’s another discussion for another time.  But it is better, healthier, and more adult to take responsibility for your past…including your relationships.


There are plenty of wonderful men and women in the world, and if you haven’t found one of them, it may not be “the world’s” problem.   It may be about the person in the mirror.  There are a number of things to consider:


1) Where did you learn your rules and laws of relationships and love? From actual healthy human beings with lasting relationships?  From unhappy people?  Even worse…from fiction?


2) Is there a common pattern to the unappetizing aspects of the people attracted to you?  What could this be saying about you?  For instance: some women attract large numbers of married men.  What might this suggest about their actual emotional availability?


3) If you put all your ex’s together in a room, would they have a common opinion of you?  Of the reason your relationship ended?  WHAT DO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS LOOK LIKE TO YOUR PARTNERS?


4) Let’s take this further: what would an impartial observer say about your relationships?  What would your parents say?  What would a therapist say?  If you have healthy friends with healthy relationships…what would THEY say?


5) What would you have to change about YOURSELF to begin to attract a “better” class of partner?   Healthier emotionally, more successful in their careers, more appealing physically?


6) The ability to look at these things requires nerves of steel.  It also requires enough love of self, belief in one’s own innate preciousness that the flaws in our current presentation and actions are NOT seen as indicative of our ultimate essence.   Consider them false signals, signs of our fear, dishonesty, and internal conflicts.  Remember that we’ve been given countless (and usually conflicting) instructions during our lives.  Its not surprising that we sometimes have “system crashes” comparable to a computer slowing down or crashing with conflicting programs.  Damaged self-images result in accepting people who treat us badly.   Low standards in our own lives attract others who are comfortable with low standards.


7) To put it bluntly, people who complain about the low quality of the people they attract are dealing with serious issues that only they can address.   Don’t mistake their little insular misery mazes for the whole of humanity. There are wonderful men and women in the world, honest and good people with passion and drive and the capacity for giving and accepting love.  All you need to do to access that tribe…is to be one of them.


8) Again, you must believe that the true expression of your Self is a beautiful thing, a worthy thing.  If deep down you feel soiled, damaged, worthless, whatever…you have had an unfortunately common human experience, probably in childhood. It is your responsibility to heal yourself, nurture yourself, fill yourself with love so that you overflow and can offer, without conditions, that overflow to others.  But also to be honest enough about who you are and how you have become the person you are…so that you can detect the incongruities and deceptions of others.  That you can trust your instinct about who people are, and what their values are, because you watch their actions, not what they say about their actions (that’s entirely secondary, although interesting)

9) It is not “fair” that life is like this, that there is a price for everything we want…and that that price is paid in advance. It just “is.”  You can rage and rail against it all you want, and not change a thing.  Or…you can grow up and grasp that it is perfectly fair that people deserve someone who can understand them, support them, nurture them, love them.  They deserve others who are “on their frequency.”   Don’t you?  The trouble of course, is that getting someone on your frequency can be a blessing or a curse.  A full course meal…or just desserts.


In this Christmas season, why not give yourself the gift of love.   Go deep.  Accept responsibility.   Take control of your life, and your love.



Whatever game you’re playing, define the rules so you can win


Soulmate Commandments #2: Thou Shalt Define Love In A Manner That Gladdens Thy Spirit

The corrolary to #1.  In order to maximize your chances of accomplishing something, you have to align your goals, values, beliefs, resources, actions, and emotional charges.   The truth is that if your emotions are clear enough, strong enough, focused enough, you will FIND a way to accomplish your goal or die trying.   So it is totally worth-while to examine our basic beliefs, to be certain that our core beliefs about love, connection, and relationships are positive and not in conflict with other beliefs, values and priorities.
Or to look at it another way: if you aren’t dead, or currently busting your hump to achieve your goals, you do NOT have them aligned with your values, beliefs and emotional charges.  Period.
I don’t know a human being who hasn’t been hurt, betrayed, disappointed or painfully discounted in love.  No one whose heart has not been broken: wisdom is the result of experience, experience is the result of making mistakes.  Life dings up the strongest and smartest of us.
Here are some thoughts and questions for you.  Take a few minutes to write down your reactions and thoughts in connection to each.
1) Attraction is me looking at you.   Love is two people looking at each other.  But a relationship is two people heading in the same direction.
2) Where did you learn most of what you know about relationships?    Would you have consciously, voluntarily accepted these beliefs?
3) Is love primarily associated with pleasure or pain?
4) If you have a negative relationship history, have you learned the lessons, extracted the information, in a way that demonizes neither side?  Only if you have can you move forward and leave the pain behind.
5) Who has the healthiest relationship you know?  Has it lasted at least 15 years, time enough to raise a child to self-sufficiency?  Do you know what their attitudes about love, relationships, connection, and intimacy are? How are they similar to or different from yours?
6) What are your most important values in love and relationships?  Write them out…and then prioritize.  Look to see if you have conflicts (intimacy versus autonomy, for instance).
Fear and love compete for the same place in your heart.  If you have fears about relationships, trust issues, for instance, remember that you can trust other people to the exact degree that you can trust your own judgement.   Pain in your past is not your “fault”—but it IS your responsibility to learn and grow if you would have a life of joy and meaning in the realm of the heart.
Only through maturing to a point of self-trust and self-love can you be strong and secure enough to drop your armor.    In general, we can either have a shell or a spine.
Choose one.

We’re six degrees separated from Kevin Bacon…but only three from a potential Soulmate


The Soulmate’s Commandments #1:Thou Shalt Define The Term “Soulmate”…

1. Thou Shalt Define The Term “Soulmate”  So That Thou Canst Succeed!

Part of the attraction of teaching the “Soulmate” teleconference was the need to condense over six hours of material down to an hour.  To do this, we used a very simple structure that covered the basic aspects, and would help people understand what we are up to.

So I used the “Secret Formula” structure, as well as a “Ten Commandments” structure for their simplicity and resonance.    The first step is to define the term “Soulmate” itself.    You MUST define it in a manner that it makes sense to you, appeals deeply to you, and gives you the opportunity to win, to actually achieve it.   I remember coaching a famous television actor, now well past fifty and never married.     His definition of a soulmate was someone with whom there would never be conflict. She would look at a sunset and think and feel the exact same things he thought and felt.  She would laugh at the exact same things in a movie, and know what was on his mind without him saying a word.

In other words, he wanted a psychic clone.    And that childish, immature, unrealistic view of what relationships are explains perfectly why he has never married.   I mean, get real—you don’t have a relationship that deep and conflict-free with YOURSELF.   We lie to ourselves, disappoint ourselves, break promises to ourselves, and change day to day.    Wherever he got that definition, someone gravely misinformed him.

But…what is it, really?    The first definition I ever heard that made sense to me was that a Soulmate was someone who, when you meet them, you can feel and see the door to your future opening before you.  Here are a few thoughts on the subject—but whatever I or anyone else says, you MUST have a definition that makes sense to you, turns you on, and is possible to achieve.

1) A soulmate must appeal to you on the basic levels of mind (values and goals), emotions (similar or complementary emotional nature) and body (you guys should have similar energy levels, and standards of attraction)
ALL THREE.  Any two will probably make a decent relationship…but we want more.

2) We have more than one.  For goodness’ sake, how unfair would it be if there were only one such person in all the world? What if she was in Outer Mongolia?   Based on our surveys, I suspect that about one out of every ten thousand people could connect with you in such a fashion, on average.  And no, that doesn’t mean ten thousand speed dates.   When you “put yourself out” in the world by following your life path with intensity, it is amazing what happens.

3) If you are only six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, I’m going to guess you are only about three from someone who fits our definitions…and is available.

4) A Soulmate, to be clear, is someone who can share your love, passion and life.  Someone who will support and encourage you to be the very best you can be.   Someone for whom you need not “change”…but WILL have to continue to stretch and grow and tell the truth about who and what you are.    Your energetic gender-appropriate “mirror.”

5) You must resolve the dualities: “water seeks its own level” and “opposites attract.”   The core values must be similar enough to sustain a relationship, but given that, the more differences you can embrace and connect across, the more “energy” and dynamism you will see in that relationship.  The greater the “gap” the spark has to jump, the fatter the spark.

6) But there is a gap too great for the biggest spark, and that limit can only be determined by judgement.  And judgement is the result of experience. And experience is the result, quite often, of bad judgement. There is an irreducable amount of pain involved in learning anything profound.  A course like “The Soulmate Process” gives you the tools to shorten the learning curve and reduce the amount of pain…but no matter what, life has bumps.  Get ready, grit your teeth, and enjoy the ride!


You can have everything you want, if you only want the things you can have.

(TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013)

The Soulmate Process #3: Animal Instinct, Spiritual Yearnings

So I’d done the first step of the “Soulmate Process” and found a woman that was the closest to my perfect partner that I knew.  And actually had the chance to date her.  And blew it, despite being hugely open, loving, and honest.

What the heck happened?

Well, I found myself at a convention not long after that, and was grousing to myself.  I had friends there, but had no interest in having fun, or doing business.   I wanted to know WHAT HAD GONE WRONG?

What I decided was that I’d been married so long that I was a bit “out of the game.”  That I literally had forgotten things I needed to know to make that aspect of my life work.  I KNEW that once upon a time I’d known, even if it was “unconscious competence.”  So what I decided to do was pretend I was an anthropologist from Mars.  That I knew nothing at all about human relationships. To just sit back and watch the people pass me, and see if I saw something useful.

So all day I sat in the lobby of the hotel, watching men and women, and especially women with men.   And after about six hours of this, a pattern began to emerge that boggled my mind.  I literally couldn’t believe what I saw, and I was seeing it again and again.

It was so politically incorrect, so counter-intuitive that it baffled me, but I saw it again and again.  And here it was:

The more beautiful the woman was, the more likely she was to be with a man who was, apparently, ignoring her.

What the #$@@?   My mind blanked out and revolted. This couldn’t be true!

Could it?

So I kept watching, and it was just true, so far as I could determine.  Moderately attractive or average women were often with guys who were all over them.  But the gorgeous ones?  They were with guys who seemed both intense and relaxed, who kept their attention straight ahead most of the time.

This led me to asking: IF this was true, what could it mean?   How could I justify this belief with my other knowledge of human behavior?

And one thing I demanded of myself: what if this was not something dysfunctional?  Not about “insecurity” or “broken people”?  What if there was simply some aspect of our animal, human, or spiritual nature…something about our minds or hearts that is difficult to see because we are INSIDE the system.  What if what I was seeing was perfectly healthy and natural?

I went to my room and sat.  Just sat.  By myself.  Told myself that I wasn’t coming out until I had the answer.   I could feel that it was bubbling, percolating just out of sight of my conscious mind.

What if these men and women were healthy?  What if it wasn’t a toxic behavior? What in the hell was I looking at?

And could this have anything to do with what had happened with “Carol”?

And suddenly, after about four solid hours of thinking about this apparent paradox, something occurred to me, and it was one of those “ah-hah” moments that will blow your mind and change your life.


Here it is.  What hit me was that there are two basic types of animals: carnivores and herbavores.   Carnivores have their eyes mounted in front, to lock on prey.  Herbivores have their eyes mounted on the side, to search for predators.

Now, then.  What is beauty?   In general, in my values,  it is health, fitness, self-possession, dynamism, energy, playfulness, all of that rolled together.   And while SOME of that is “natural” much of the presentation is a matter of technology: makeup, dress, movement, psychology, diet, exercise.  Focus.  Intelligence and aesthetics  applied to the artistic presentation of YOUR characteristics.  I’ve met very, very few people who could not be beautiful by some set of standards, to some group of people, if they decided to do so.

So…what if I looked at the women I (and I think the majority of people) considered “beautiful” as lionesses.  They possess themselves.  They know their value.  They are dynamic and aware.  Heck, that certainly described “Carol” to a “T”.    And what does a lioness look for in a mate?

Wait for it…

She’s looking for a lion.  That’s it.   She is looking for a mate.  Someone with his eyes mounted in front.   Now, then, by this standard, what was I seeing?  I was seeing hunting pairs, that’s what.    The male’s attention wasn’t on her.  It was scanning the environment.   Among predators, if your attention is directly upon them, it is a challenge…or predation.     If I was putting too much attention directly upon her, I was either a predator seeking to hurt her…or an herbivore terrified of her.  And in either case, I simply wasn’t hitting the “buttons” that said “potential mate.”

In fact, the way I was being so open and expressive, I was coming across as either

1) An Apex predator, someone looking to hurt her, or
2) A leaf-eater.  Someone she would chew up and spit out, without meaning to.

I had played my hand exactly wrong. A woman at her level of beauty and sensuality attracts men by the boat-load.   She would be used to games, a slow unfoldment.  You put down a card, I put down a card.  Until, over time, the entire deck is known to both.  I’d just dropped my “deck” face up on the table and scattered half the cards on the floor.

Her only safe bet was that I was lying.  It simply wouldn’t have made sense for her to assume I was being straight-forward.  It just isn’t that kind of world.

So…if this was healthy (and I was assuming it was) there was a question-answer going on between men and women.  The question was, in essence: “who are you?  Where are you going?  If I partner with you, will you take me somewhere I want to go?”

I’m quite sure that those strong, confident males with those strong, confident women gave those ladies, in private, all the attention they could desire, if you know what I mean.  But in public?  They were a hunting pair, with their focus ON WHERE THEY WERE GOING, not each other.

(The expression that “love is two people looking at each other, but a relationship is two people looking in the same direction” ties right into this.)

Holy crap.  I could feel the insight slipping away from me, even though once I saw it, even though I couldn’t NOT see it…at the moment.  My mind didn’t want to hold onto it, and I knew what I needed was a practical experiment to see what I could do with the theory.

So I   decided to see if I could attract, from cold, the most beautiful woman at the convention.    I searched for the next hour, and finally saw an absolutely stunning woman.  Two men were trying to chat her up.  And I said “perfect opportunity.”

Now, it happened that the more “alpha-attractive”  of the men had been at a presentation I’d given earlier, and I could engage with him.  The three were arranged in a roughly triangular pattern.   I ignored the “beta” guy, and positioned myself between the lady and the alpha, with my back to her.   I talked to him about some ideas I’d been sharing earlier, then after about three minutes turned to the lady and said “You are VERY attractive,” and then turned my back again.

The effect…was startling.   Let’s just say that for the rest of the convention, if I’d been Mick Jagger she couldn’t have been more intrigued.   Or attracted.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended.  Ahem.

I’d stumbled onto something.  Some combination of confidence, attention, and self-possession that seemed, in that case, irresistible.  But I had to test it further.   I had a date coming up with a lady I’d never been intimate with, and let’s just say we crossed that threshold with dizzying speed.   Focus and balance.

Over the next weeks I refined that same perspective with dizzying success.
Warning: Because the following involves publicly known history, I have to be a bit more oblique.   I had a conference coming up at Clark Atlanta University.  Let’s just say that the same “Relaxed-Attention” technique worked three separate times: one on a waitress at a restaurant WHILE I was sitting with another woman, and once with a woman who was writing me erotic love poems within a half hour of meeting me.

I went to my room that night stunned.   I’d never experienced anything like this in my entire life.  It was clear that I’d touched an energetic position that was beyond technique, in which I had somehow, in some way I didn’t totally understand, become capable of attracting any woman I focused on.  It was extremely  disorienting,  and the doors of hell were swinging open.

Why?  Because I saw that I could be an absolute dog, if I wanted that.  Insecurity about food can make people gorge when food is available.  The same thing can be true about sex.   There was still enough left-over insecurity from my earlier life that I could see myself becoming a rather unpleasant person.  A “bounder” shall we say.   Note an earlier comment about magic.  It is possible to have the ability to manifest anything that you want, by the simple expedient of training yourself not to want anything you cannot manifest.

In that same way, clearly I’m not saying “I could attract anyone in the world.”   No.  I’m saying that somehow I had reached a point where the circle of “what can I attract?” and “what am I attracted to?” overlapped.  So far as I can say, they overlapped totally.  And that means that, PRACTICALLY, it was the same as being able to attract anyone.

All my life, I’d had the typical male interest in limitless ladies.   Having anything I wanted, whenever I wanted.  And faced with the reality, it repelled me.  I didn’t want that.

Clearly, the desire had related to a sense of lack.  “I can’t attract these attractive ladies.  I want that.   I am possessed by my desires, and they drive my fantasies and goals.”

But the instant it became clear that I HAD the capacity, that there was no lack at all, I was free to evolve to another level of The Game.   And guess what? Under the lack-driven adolescent motivations…

I didn’t want games.  Didn’t want “conquests.”  Didn’t care about seduction or anything else.
What I wanted was a partner.  Someone to share my life with.  Someone I could be MYSELF with, with total honesty.  Remember “Talking to the Tree”?  The masks we wear are constructed from energy we could otherwise invest in moving our lives forward.  Those masks are heavy, and costly.    Drop them, and you can “unravel” the mask and invest your energy in your life.

I called my daughter, checking in with her as I did whenever I was away from home.   And my first wife.  Although our relationship was ruptured, I loved her, and still love her dearly to this day (she refers to me as her “baby daddy.”)  We always had such a wonderful friendship, partnership. She is simply a terrific human being, but what we wanted from life was sufficiently different that we could no longer “walk in the same direction.”  We’d always had such connection, and in talking to her on the phone, I realized it would be a betrayal of the wonderful years we’d spent together to “settle” for less than that same level of harmony and connectedness.

After I got off the phone, I felt like I was in a different place in my life, a place I’d never known. I knew who I was, and what I wanted—a perfect partner.  A soul mate.  And I knew, and I mean KNEW, that I could have it.

All it takes to get everything you want, is everything you’ve got.

I dropped to my knees in that room and started praying. “God,” I said.  “I’ll do whatever you want.   And if what you want is for me to be alone for the rest of my life, that’s what I’ll do.  Because I will not settle, or do less than the best I can do, or be other than I really am, ever again, for the rest of my life.  Period.”  Tears streaming down my face, I picked myself up, and went to bed.

And as you can probably guess, the very next morning I met Tananarive.

More, very soon