March 30, 2011

{Be a 'Royal' Couple}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Of course most of the world knows about the upcoming royal wedding. I enjoyed reading how Prince William and Kate Middleton have set up a "Charitable Gift Fund" as a way to share the abundance of their day with various charities that are dear to the couple.

Which lead me to think about "regular couples" (well, at least not royal) and the whole notion of engagement and wedding presents in our materialistic culture. We're all aware how commercial weddings have become with so much focus on appearances, "gift registries," and a planning-by-formula mindset. And we've all experienced how this can diminish the intimacy of the wedding celebration.

The background of giving wedding gifts was a way for family and friends to support a young couple to have some essentials to begin their life together. Now I understand modern couples may need similar support and "things" to set up housekeeping...and I'm not suggesting that you cancel your gift registry!

But taking a lead from William and Kate (even though your income level may not be linked to the riches of the British monarchy) perhaps consider some kind of "charitable gift fund" of your own. Like suggesting, if someone is so inclined, to donate to your favorite charity in lieu of sending a gift to you.

Now isn't that what love's all about?

Love. Listen. Let go....
...with love from Cornelia

ps: You may enjoy my new blog...a companion to my upcoming book: The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: How Princess Diana Exposed the 'Princess Myth' for All Women

March 23, 2011

{Surrendering to Abundance}

Dear Bride-to-Be: 
One of my favorite human beings, the late mythologist and historian Joseph Campbell, wrote a great deal about relationship and marriage. He said: "When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you're sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship." In the same spirit, Oprah Winrey wrote: "Real marriage is the sacrificing of your ego, not for the other person, but for the relationship."

It seems many people think of "sacrifice" as meaning "scarcity" or a sense of "lack," but these quotes remind us of the "abundance" of sacrifice in relationship. It's about "letting go" or "surrendering" your ego, not to a person, but to the magic and possibility of what the intimate unity of two people can build. Enhancing the individual, enhancing the couple...creating abundance!

"Surrender" is another word that is easy to miss its "abundant" connotations. In her book, Now and Forever: Advice for a Strong Marriage, author Toni Sciarra Poynter writes:

There is a wonderful intimacy in surrendering to each other's strengths, tapping one another's unique wisdom. Become learners again. Honor each other with the attentive openness of the student.

Hmmm. Maybe there is something to learn about letting go of one's ego that is central to having a happy, supportive, "abundant" relationship!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Ian Grant]

March 16, 2011

{Something Positive & Wonderful}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
“The alarm clock rings, your eyes pop open, and you’re immediately off to the races, filled with anticipatory dread about the day’s myriad tasks,” writes Jon Spayde in his article “Reduce Stress with a Calming Morning Ritual.” This is not only a stressful way to start the day, but according to Dr. Judith Orloff, it is a “missed opportunity” as well.

“The biggest barrier to serenity in the morning is in your own head: It’s how you frame the day,” Dr. Orloff says. And Jon adds: “But if you can do some simple reframing as soon as you wake up, the morning can be a great time to carve out some calm space and time for yourself, and set yourself up for a more peaceful and productive day.”

Dr. Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, recommends a simple three minute meditation as a morning ritual:  

“You simply breathe, center, and focus on something positive and wonderful. Do it for only three minutes — because limiting it teaches you to find emotional calm quickly.” 

(This is Dr. Orloff’s “wake up” meditation, but I think it’s great any time of day—like when you feel the tension ratcheting up! And it’s even a great exercise to do right before bed to relax and ease into a restful night’s sleep.)

Jon suggests this addition that I love: “Placing your hand over your heart during the meditation can add an additional element of warmth and self-soothing.”

And here are some tips that I add: Be sure your breaths are slow, deep and full. (Still can’t find your center?) Keep your eyes closed, listen for the quiet in your breath, and smile. Then the something “positive and wonderful” could be how more peaceful and efficient your day goes after this calming start.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Missy McLamb]

March 9, 2011

{Letting Go of Perfection}

A wise teacher wrote: “Our lives become beautiful not because they are perfect. Our lives become beautiful because we put our heart into what we’re doing.”  Planning your wedding is the same. The look of your wedding, its design and decoration, the music choices, the decisions about your gown and what the bridal party will wear—all the trappings of the wedding—are enhanced by and become truly beautiful when your heart is open and generous, and you make choices from that heart-full place!

Let go of “perfection.” Let go of burdensome expectations set up by outside influences: wedding industry hype (your wedding is not the most important day of your life, it’s the beginning of a bold adventure); let go of what you think your family or friends want of you (underneath it all, what they really want is for you to be happy); let go of whatever you made up about “perfection” (either there is no such thing, or everything is perfect—you choose!)

Look inside, open your heart, feel the love you’re finding there ... and fill your wedding with the love you discover and it will be the most beautiful imagined. This is the perfect gift to yourself … and to all those you hold dear.

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: David Willems]

March 2, 2011

{Natural & Tender Does It}

Dear Bride-to-Be: 
Don’t be a “stinky” bride! Many people are sensitive to strong scents and commercial perfumes made with solvents and petroleum products. So during this blog series, brides, weddings & aromatherapy,” when I’ve been talking about fragrances and scents, I am not suggesting the use of those types of artificial products.

But most people are not allergic to “natural aromas.” So be thoughtful, light and natural in your fragrance choices used for your wedding celebration....from the perfume that you wear to the candles used at the reception.   

Aromatherapy—the use of essences of aromatic plants and flowers—is an art that puts us in touch with the subtle and delicate aspects of Mother Nature and in so doing, teaches us to be tender with each other. What a beautiful wedding gift to offer the world in need of a little more tenderness. In fact, your wedding is a gift to all the guests present...allow its essence to be a naturally fragrant way to share the love!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from  Cornelia

ps: This completes the series “brides, weddings & aromatherapy” ... (It began with the post on November 3, 2010 if you want to check the archives for fragrant and relaxing tips and inspirations.) Stay tuned for an exciting announcement in the post next Wednesday!

[Photograph: Kristin Spencer]