“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Love Happily Ever After?

Today, it is hard to believe in happy-endings, especially when 50% of first time marriages end in divorce in the United States. Many of us go into marriage with a “Hollywoodified” idea of what it should be like. Others say, “All I know is I don’t want to end up like my parents.” There is hope. A happy ending is possible.

Dr. Robert Epstein, a researcher from California, recently reported some interesting findings in the January/February 2010 issue of Scientific American. He found that through certain techniques, like “soul-gazing” or “love aura,” people could grow their love for one another. He explains, “Americans want it all-the freedom to choose a partner and the deep, lasting love of fantasies and fairy tales. We can achieve that kind of love by learning about and practicing techniques that build love over time.” What are these techniques?

There are eight fun techniques to try with your mate. You can read more by going to Dr. Epstein’s site: http://drrobertepstein.com/

1. Two as one: Softly, hold your partner close. Notice the other person’s breathing and slowly begin to breath with him or her.

2. Soul Gazing: Stand or sit around two feet away from your partner. For around two minutes, gaze deep into the other person’s eyes as if you are looking into his or her core. Next, talk to your partner and take turns telling what you saw.

3. Monkey love: Stand or sit close your partner. Move your hands, arms, and legs anyway but it has to match what your partner is doing. Although it might be challenging, at the end you will feel linked with your partner.

4. Falling in Love: This is a trust exercise, one of many that increase mutual feelings of vulnerability. From a standing position, simply let yourself fall backward into the arms of your partner. Then trade places. Repeat several times

and then talk about your feelings. Strangers who do this exercise sometimes feel connected to each other for years.

5 Secret Swap: Write down a deep secret and have your partner do the same. Then trade papers and talk about what you read. You can continue this process until you have run out of secrets. Better yet, save some of your secrets for another day.

6 Mind-Reading: Game Write down a thought that you want to convey to your partner. Then spend a few minutes wordlessly trying to broadcast that thought to him or her, as he or she tries to guess what it is. If he or she cannot guess, reveal what you were thinking. Then switch roles.

7 Let Me Inside: Stand about four feet away from each other and focus on each other. Every 10 seconds or so move a bit closer until, after several shifts, you are well inside each other’s personal space (the boundary is about 18 inches). Get as close as you can without touching. (My students tell me this exercise often ends with kissing.)

8 Love Aura: Place the palm of your hand as close as possible to your partner’s palm without actually touching. Do this for several minutes, during which you will feel not only heat but also, sometimes, eerie kinds of sparks

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