If you want to get a date this Valentine’s Day, cross your legs, close your eyes and say “Om.”
MediDating is a series of love meditations to help you release all those fears about winding up sad and alone with a growing collection of cats. It’s about making peace with yourself and learning to love your life before you go looking for love.
“The romantic areas of our lives can often be the most anxious and uncomfortable areas,” says Bernstein. “That anxiety is blocking us from finding romance or enjoying the romance we do have. Meditation is a way to center yourself and release that anxiety."
Her meditations start by helping you let go of what she calls "romantic delusions," otherwise known as totally unrealistic expectations. That mental image of your perfect mate (epitomized on "30 Rock" by Liz Lemon's fantasy of astronaut Mike Dexter) sheds a light of imperfection on your partner—all you see are the ways he doesn’t measure up.
Of course, letting go of those expectations won’t happen overnight.
Bernstein encourages people to spend three or four months on the first seven meditations, allowing time to process tough emotions. “Often, when we’re living in a fast-paced environment, we bulldoze over our emotions,” she says. “When we meditate, we have this space to experience our feelings. They can be worked through and calmed down.”
Joanna, 28, feels that she’s a different person today because of meditation. “I used to define myself based on who I was dating,” she says. “I had been looking for happiness outside of myself and didn’t even know who I was. [Through meditation,] I started really loving myself and getting to know myself. I’m no longer looking to meet someone to complete some sort of hole that I was trying to fill."
She’s still single today (there are no magic tricks hidden in these tracks), but she’s happier—and that’s the point. “It’s not about getting a man or a partner,” says Bernstein. “It’s about releasing the blocks to become a magnet that attracts what you desire.”
The final meditations, known as the “manifestation” meditations, boost your mojo by teaching you to be present with others and to live a fulfilling, vibrant life no matter your relationship status. (Not only are you more likely to meet someone when you lead an active life, showing confidence and personal interests will make you a more appealing partner.)
The meditations encourage you to visualize a love-filled life, but protect against “future-tripping,” Bernstein’s term for indulging a vision of the future with only one path—or aisle—to success.
“For love in general, we have so many plans,” says Arielle, 28. “We expect to get married at a certain age, have babies at a certain age, have a certain career. [Meditation] taught me how to let go of those plans, not try to force and control it so much.”
In fact, speed-dating studies show that letting go of those plans—and the anxiety about whether they’ll pan out—is essential for piquing romantic interest. Within a few minutes of meeting, we can sense desperation, and when we do, we’re much less likely to opt for a second date.
In many ways, Bernstein is simply sharing a method that worked for her. “I was really stuck for the first 25 years of my life,” she says, “believing that a romantic partner would be my salvation and my source of happiness. Through my spiritual practice, I was able to fill myself up and let all of those romantic partners off the hook by turning inward to find what I was looking for.”
The beauty of these meditations is that just when you learn to attract a man, you’ll realize you don’t need one.
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