Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Love Is Your Birthright

An impromptu interview from 2011 with New York Times best-selling author Laura Doyle and Gladys Diaz of Heart's Desire International.

It has been a while since I've written about sex and relationships or even celibacy, but the topic is fresh on my mind as Heart's Desire will be hosting a Women's Lifelong Romance Retreat in Fort Lauderdale, June 22 - 24, with Laura Doyle.

Laura Doyle's "surrendered wife" and "surrendered single" concepts appear controversial at first glance, but they're not archaic tenets about being submissive.  Being "surrendered" is about knowing how to communicate your desires properly, among other relationship skill sets.

The idea of learning how to communicate with men and learning to be more feminine isn't really that off the wall. And the principles of communication -- knowing what to say, when to say it and not becoming desperate in anticipation of a reply -- apply to all kinds of relationships, not just romantic attachments.

After reading Doyle's Surrendered Single, I examined my own communications skills more closely. And even though I'm not in a romantic relationship, I've found I've become more relaxed when it comes to handling communication challenges and have adapted more comfortably to the idea of openly and graciously receiving what is good for me.

Although, quite frankly, I still remain in a state of limbo, a kind of "suspended celibacy" (Doyle would probably scold me for saying that!), I must say I do feel prepared for the next right one -- the right and best possible one for me. It's just that right now, romance isn't a particular focus in my life, but as Doyle would say (and has said to me): "What are you waiting for? Love is your birthright!"

She's damn right, you know.

Heart's Desire International, a group of relationship coaches inspired by Doyle's principles, were a huge hit at my HeartCamp event last February.  I expect the "man panel" at the retreat to be equally as successful because it's also good to know what thoughts are lurking in their thick skulls.

But we ladies can be pretty stubborn, too.

Have you ever gotten a phone call late at night from a panic-stricken girlfriend? OMG why isn't he calling me? Why did he say that? Why is he acting that way? I recently fielded one of these calls and had an 'aha' moment even though it had nothing to do with me. Before you place the onus on the other, examine your own behavior. True, sometimes a guy is just a jerk.  But it does take two to tango, even when the dance is uncoordinated and clumsy.

I learned this beautiful lesson years ago, actually, when I literally danced tango. The best tango is the one that flows smoothly from one step to the next, with male and female energy gently pushing and pulling in a balanced yin and yang.  In dance, those steps take practice. It's no different with relationships.

Why train to be in a relationship when you're not in one? For the same reason you train to run a marathon. You can't expect to just do it without skill sets, without preparing your mind and body for what's to come. Growing up, our parents didn't always teach us the best relationship skills. They did the best they could with what they were taught in turn.  And in school, we focus on careers and book learning, but not what matters to the heart.

And more importantly: dating sucks. (Doyle will slap me on the wrist for that one!) Go armed with knowledge and the ability to have fun.

So single ladies, if you've ever splurged a few clams on shoes and hair, why not treat yourself to some spiritual pampering? If you wish to attend the retreat, sign up with the code MARIA and you'll get 50% off admission. The retreat includes not only seminars and lectures, but also a welcome cocktail party, a lunch aboard a yacht on the intracoastal, VIP party at Blue Martini and optional morning yoga, plus networking with like-minded women.

The retreat takes place at the beautiful Gallery One Doubletree Hilton, just off the intracoastal waterway. For more information visit Women's Lifelong Romance Retreat.


I am receiving absolutely no financial compensation for any ticket purchases made with this special Sex and the Beach discount code. It's a gift to my readers courtesy of the retreat organizers!  And you know I only give props to good stuff I believe in!

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