Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour - Where's the Groom by Sophie Meyer (Guest Post, Except, Review)

I'm pleased to be a part of Sophie Meyer's tour with Chick Lit Plus for her novel, Where's The Groom?   Go to Chick Lit Plus to follow Sophie's tour and for the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Please read on for Sophie's fabulous guest post about searching for "The One" and for my review of Where's The Groom?

Guest Post

Searching for The One

(The Practice of Love)

       So many of us are searching for the One. We all want love. Then, when we get it, many of us become afraid and start to run in the opposite direction. On the one hand, we are searching for love, searching for some lasting relationship.  On the other hand, we often do many things to push the person away.

       It always "seems" as if relationships are difficult. They are difficult to find, difficult to keep and difficult to enjoy. Yet, the basic reality is that there is never a scarcity of relationships -there is never a scarcity of love.  Love doesn’t come from the outside, it comes with within. It is up to us open our hearts and let the love flow. Love is our natural condition. Why aren't we in it all the time? What is it that keeps us from this love we are so hungry for?

   The most common answer to this question is that before we will allow ourselves to love, first we must find, the perfect person.  Most people don’t pass our test and we tell ourselves that is the reason why we are alone. But the truth is, we won’t let love happen.  We find something wrong with everyone we meet.

      Sitting around waiting for the perfect person can be a real trap. Take a moment to see clearly who this perfect person is to you? Write a description of how you would imagine your perfect partner to be. Then, take a moment to see how you would have to be in order to have such a partner?

       It’s possible that you might think – what can this perfect person possibly see in me? How can I hold him? How painful it will be when I’m rejected.  Before we find the One, we have to really like and respect ourselves. We have to become our own best friend.

      Otherwise, it is easy to want this person to be someone who will build up our own self-image., make us feel good about ourselves. Without this person we might feel as if we don’t count, or that our life isn’t full enough. But, when we use another person to build up our self-image, this kind of relationship is never stable, it is always grounded in doubt and fear of loss.

Love has nothing to do with any images of fantasies of how somebody else should be – or how you should be either. Love is accepting yourself and another exactly as they are. And, love is never about using another to feel better about yourself.  If that’s what you’re doing it isn’t love. 

Love is a practice.  First we have to start with ourselves. We need to build our love muscles daily, see the best in others, (and ourself), learn to truly listen, stop judging a book by its cover, become patient, learn how to give.

Here’s a huge secret I’ve discovered. Happiness doesn’t necessarily come from being loved, it comes from being loving.  The first step in Searching for the One is searching for your own loving heart. Even though you may not know it, all the loving you are seeking from others is waiting right there for you within.

The perfect person for you to practice being loving with is always the one who is beside you right now. Each person you meet is giving you a chance to become stronger, kinder, more positive and feel better about yourself.  The more you are willing to do this practice, the more of a love magnet you will become, and the sooner you will inevitably draw the one who is right for you.
The practice of love includes many exercises, steppingstones and practices.  Here is an exercise to begin your practice of love right away.  Try it and enjoy:

Look around for a moment. Who is there? Really look at this person. Are you willing to see the best in them? Are you willing to accept who they are? When you do, you are loving them. Are you willing to allow them to love you, too?

  Some have a hard time accepting love, don’t feel they deserve it. If that is you, just become aware of it. As you love others more, you’ll feel better about allowing them to love you, too.

Now, look around at whoever else is in your life. Make a list of the people. Imagine yourself loving each one of them. One at a time. Then imagine them loving you, too. What does it feel like? Practice this when you are alone, and when you see them as well.

                  (In this exercise love doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love)

 If you can’t imagine feeling loving towards someone, write down, why not? What has to change about them for you to love them? What has to change about you?

There is a wonderful saying that anything we can’t accept in another, is something we can’t accept in ourselves. Try accepting yourself fully now. Try accepting others. Congratulations, you’re on the royal road to love.

                              “Love is wanting for the other what they want for themselves

                                      Even if you aren’t the one able to give it to them.”      

                                                                                            Lester Levenson                                           

Sophie Meyer offers talks and workshops on the Practice of Love. Contact her at sophiemeyerauthor@gmail.com


         The late April evening was quickly growing cool as breezes blew up from the ocean tossing Ashley’s long, blonde, hair onto her face.  Ashley’s wavy hair was one of her best features and she’d always been proud of it.  She pushed it back onto her neck now as she and Brad walked along the promenade, barely looking at each other or talking.  Ashley didn’t know if the chill she was feeling was from the wind or the distance that seemed to have suddenly grown between them.  It was inexplicable. Their first three dates had gone wonderfully. And now this.  It was becoming a pattern for her.
Things would start out great in her relationships, but very soon on into dating, the excitement petered out, and things turned sour. Ashley had no idea why, but the pattern had become more intense these past few months.  It happened more quickly, and left her feeling more and more shaky about herself. 
            Ashley was slim and beautiful with a lithe figure and never had any trouble attracting guys her whole life long.  She came from a fine family, had a job she loved and a beautiful apartment in Santa Monica, with a patio overlooking the hills.  All these years she’d enjoyed her freedom, built her career as a graphic designer, met new friends, roller bladed, ran in marathons, sketched on the beach.  But now, her thirtieth birthday was fast approaching and it was time for her to settle down.  She knew it and so did everyone else. By now most of her friends were married or engaged. It seemed as if the whole world had someone, except her.
As she and Brad walked along in silence, Ashley let out a long sigh, and Brad turned his head and looked over at her.
“Something the matter?” he asked almost gruffly.
“It turned so cold so fast,” Ashley murmured under her breath, just loud enough for him to hear.
Brad ran his hands through his dark brown hair and looked away.
“Is something wrong, Brad?” Ashley managed to ask, as the wind grew stronger around them.
He stopped, turned away and looked at the ocean, where the waves rolled in and out oblivious to what was going on at the shore.  Ashley and Brad had met through work, at one of her company’s trade shows that she’d done the designs for. They’d started out on a high note, enjoying each other’s company, having a lot to talk about, knowing many people in common. Ashley told her friends she was excited about him, and they couldn’t wait to hear what happened next.
Ashley’s friends and family sat at the edge of their seats, waiting to hear good news from her. They called regularly to get the details of her latest dates and cheered her on relentlessly. In the beginning Ashley liked it, but now she did not. It was upsetting to have to answer to everyone and hear the long silences on the other end of the phone when things fell flat. It was becoming a ritual, and now it had happened again. Brad had suddenly become withdrawn. Had she done something to cause it? Ashley had no idea. As the evening was coming to an end, he actually seemed sullen and reserved.
Ashley took a step closer to him and then stopped cold.  She wasn’t into chasing - not him or anyone.
“I’m sorry,” Brad managed to finally say, “I can’t do this anymore. “
“Can’t do what?” Ashley didn’t understand.
“I’ve met someone,” Brad spoke very fast. “She’s a terrific woman, perfect for me, everything I’ve been looking for. It’s not fair to lead you on this way.”
Ashley felt a chill run up through her arms and shoulders.  He was breaking up with her? Right now, right here?   It didn’t make sense that everything had been great between them yesterday and now he’d suddenly met someone.
  “Why didn’t you tell me sooner,” Ashley said, in a cool, even tone, desperately trying to regain her dignity.
It wasn’t that she was in love with Brad. It was way too soon for that.  Ashley wasn’t the kind to jump into things quickly, to give her heart without being careful and taking time.  But to be broken up without seeing it coming, to be rejected on the turn of a dime. Why? It didn’t make sense.
“Can’t you be happy for me, Ashley?” Brad said falteringly.
Ashley knew that she should be happy for Brad, but she wasn’t. She felt rotten and let down.  Wasn’t she terrific too? What was wrong with her? Why wasn’t she the one he could see building a life with?  Why had the tide turned this way in her life, especially now with tomorrow being her thirtieth birthday, which only made matters worse.
“Come on,” Brad continued, trying to make light of it, “it’s not exactly a tragedy, we’ve only gone out a few times. Be happy for me!”
“Of course it’s not a tragedy and I wish I could be happy,” said Ashley lightly, as she turned away from him, and walked to the edge of the promenade to watch the sun set in the darkening sky.


4 Stars

I really enjoyed this fun, lighthearted story.     Ashley is a woman unlucky in love and feels a bit left out when she turns thirty, her friends are in long term relationships, and her last big love was ten years ago.

Her best friend and yoga instructor, Ray, convinces her to go along with him to a workshop which leads her to employ the 'live as though you already have it' method, and with Ray's encouragement, she begins to plan a wedding to draw the man of her dreams into her life.

I'm fairly familiar with visualisation techniques to live your dreams so I enjoyed watching it pan out in the story.    Ashley's friends and family discover her going through the motions of planning the wedding and while Ashley can't tell them the real reasons, it gets quite awkward when they all want to meet the groom.     I couldn't put it down as I was wondering how it was all going to work out, which of her suitors might come to task or if she would finally admit to everyone what was really going on.   A fun and thoroughly enjoyable read.

Author Bio:

Sophie Meyer has been writing for years, and has always been in love with love.
With a background in psychology, philosophy and theater, she's helped many find love, avoid detours and climb out of  inevitable pitfalls. The essence of her life and work are exploring the wonderful, spontaneous and unpredictable surprises life loves to provide. She also offers talks and workshops on finding and living a life of love.

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  1. Thanks so much for being a part of the tour!

  2. What a thought-provoking posting on the practice of love. I, too, believe that love is work and takes practice. And I don't believe in a "perfect person" or that there is only one soul mate for everyone out there. I think we all have the capacity to love and be happy with many people in our lifetimes--if we're open to it. I guess that's all part of the "loving ourselves" strategy too.