Creating Happiness During the Holidays - Tips 4 to 6

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Happiness and gratitude go hand in hand. That’s why I start every day giving thanks for 3 to 5 people or things that I appreciate in my life. This immediately puts me into a positive state of mind and sets the tone for creating a beautiful day.

A happy life requires that we become aware of our thoughts and that we condition our subconscious minds with positive thinking. After all, positive thoughts create a positive life, just as negative thoughts create a negative life. The practice of gratitude conditions our minds to be positive, even when our lives are turned upside down by external circumstances.

  A soulful moment of gratitude with    Aileen Day    - Photography by Paul Garrett

A soulful moment of gratitude with Aileen Day - Photography by Paul Garrett

When you practice gratitude, do not leave yourself out. Give thanks for your life, for your health and for everything that helps you grow and evolve. Our minds play a key role in what we manifest into our lives. This includes how our thoughts impact the health of our bodies. Negative thinking and unresolved emotional trauma can make us sick. Take time in life to process your emotions and give thanks for your body. Through positive thinking you can heal both physically and emotionally. Every day I give thanks for my body and for my health. As a result I am rarely ill and when I get a cold I get over it quickly. Health is wealth, and good health and happiness go hand in hand in creating an upward spiral in our lives. If you don’t already practice gratitude, start tomorrow morning giving thanks for 5 people or things that you are grateful for. Better yet, start a gratitude journal and write them down. There is power in putting pen to paper and declaring what you are grateful for. Do this every day for the rest of this year and you will be amazed by how much happier you feel.

NATURE MAKES US HAPPY

One of the best ways to increase your happiness is to get outdoors and do an activity that you love! Whether it’s walking, hiking, running, biking, snowboarding, swimming or reading a book on a beach. Being in nature reduces stress and lifts our spirits.

  May nature inspire you with its magnificence! Hiking at Colchuck Lake - Photography by Paul Garrett

May nature inspire you with its magnificence! Hiking at Colchuck Lake - Photography by Paul Garrett

We tend to be less energetic in the winter and this makes us feel less happy. A big reason why is that we spend way too much time indoors being inactive. This slows down our metabolism and also makes us crave comfort foods. No wonder we put on weight in the winter! We also become deficient of vitamin D, which makes us vulnerable to catching colds and the flu. Vitamin D also gives us an energy boost, which makes us feel great! The best way to get vitamin D is by sun exposure on your skin. This will be the topic of an upcoming blog that I am writing.

I used to dislike being out in cold wet weather, but with the amazing advances in outdoor clothing that are available today this is no longer a problem. Last year I picked up a pair of waterproof snow pants by Patigonia, which were on sale at REI. They have been awesome at keeping me comfortable even in knee deep snow. I also wear base layers on top that wick away sweat, starting with a running shirt from Nike and a long sleeve second layer. In addition, I keep a puffer jacket by The North Face in my backpack to wear under my waterproof parka shell if I need extra warmth. And don’t forget good footwear. I love my waterproof hiking boots by Keen. They not only keep me dry and warm, they also protect my feet from sharp rocks and give great ankle support! This sounds expensive, but it’s not if you shop sales or purchase these items from factory outlet stores. I usually get half off on most of my outdoor clothing.

Being comfortable makes it possible for me to spend lots of time outside doing what makes me happy! Invest in good gear and enjoy the great outdoors. It will lift your spirits and make you feel happy.

ANIMALS MAKE US HAPPY

I don’t care if you are a cat or a dog person, you know what I am talking about. And of course the unconditional love that our pets pour upon us is priceless! Animals give us so much love and a wonderful feeling companionship. No wonder they make us happy!!

  You can’t help but smile when you see a joyful dog in Nature - Photography by paul Garrett

You can’t help but smile when you see a joyful dog in Nature - Photography by paul Garrett

And let’s not forget about wild animals. They make us happy, too!! I have been to Africa three times and it always amazing to watch people in their seventies and in their eighties become little kids in the presence of magnificent animals such as elephants, lions and giraffes. They smile so big, their eyes light up and even their voices become childlike in their excitement and delight. I see this too with people of all ages when I visit Yellowstone National Park. If you’ve ever been in bear, a wolf or even the bison caused a traffic jam, you know exactly what I am talking about. I bet that you can also relate to this excitement if you have ever seen dolphins or whales in the ocean. The reality is that we are drawn to animals in many ways, including the spiritual connections that many of us feel when we are in their presence.

  Photographing this Lion was one of my favorite Moments at Etosha National Park in Namibia - Photography by Paul Garrett

Photographing this Lion was one of my favorite Moments at Etosha National Park in Namibia - Photography by Paul Garrett

This holiday season give thanks, get outdoors and spend some quality time with animals. Also consider donating time, money or supplies to organizations that look after the welfare of animals. My favorite non profit organization is Predator Defense (predatordefense.org). This small group of exceptionally dedicated animal lovers is not afraid to take on the government or even fellow non profits when it comes to defending the welfare of wolves, bears, mountain lions and other predators in the USA. Giving to a noble cause can also be a source of happiness.

Wishing you a happy weekend and an inspiring new week!

With love,

Paul Garrett

P.S. - Thanks so much for supporting this blog! I promise to have Part 3 of this series ready for you on Tuesday. The past two weeks were unusually busy while I was on location doing back to back photo shoots in Seattle and then moving into my new place.


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9 Tips for Creating Happiness During the Holidays - Tips 1-3

1 - TURN OFF THE NEWS


There is a saying in the news biz, “If it bleeds, it reads.” The news industry is all about making money by peddling bad news to up their ratings. The news primes our brains to feel unsafe by hyping wars, riots, shootings, natural disasters, ugly politics and the list goes on and on. All of these negative Images and messages take a toll upon our feelings of well being and are downright depressing. Watch enough of the news and you are going to feel down. I turned off the news two years ago and I have never felt better. Remember that most news is toxic, so don’t drink the punch! The media also exaggerates our illusion of separateness. It points out our differences such as red states vs blue states, black vs white, rich vs poor, Muslim vs Christian… This is what is known as identity politics and it is designed to pit us against one another. This too preys upon our fears, causing us to have a stress response, so turn off the news during the holidays to preserve your happiness.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

2 - HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE

You’ve probably heard that happiness is a choice and it is true, but it doesn’t feel that way when we are depressed or suffering a great loss. During a difficult times I practice AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE and FORGIVENESS to help me process my emotions and return to a state of happiness.

When we’ve been betrayed or lost a loved one, we may experience anger, fear, shame embarrassment, frustration and deep emotional pain. Through AWARENESS we can come to understand what went wrong and why, keeping in mind that this pain will pass more quickly if we allow ourselves to move through the 5 stages of grief which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and ACCEPTANCE.

By holding onto the past, we cause ourselves to suffer longer. And by stuffing our feelings down, we can actually make ourselves sick. To let go of negative energy it may help to talk about our pain with loving people who care about us. This is an excellent way to also feel understood, to process our emotions and let go of them. When the are AWARE of our feelings and accept what is, we can move forward choosing to create a life of happiness and abundance.

Finally, we must practice FORGIVENESS. This is how we free ourselves from those who have hurt us and make room for better things to come into our lives. As Oprah Winfrey says, “I don’t hold grudges for anything or any situation and neither should you. Forgiveness is letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner.”

One of my favorite mantras is, “life is too short.” It’s too short to hold grudges, too short to stay in pain and too short to remain chained to a past that no longer serves us. Through awareness, acceptance and forgiveness I have moved through many unhappy events, including my recent breakup. And by choosing to be happy and grateful, my life has become abundantly joyful. I still have bad days because they are a part of life, but I mindfully choose to move through them quickly so that they rarely phase me anymore. Remember that there are no mountains that are too high for us to climb as long as we have the right mindset and the tools to get us there. We were born to be happy so brace every day with a smile.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

3 - BE MINDFUL OF FAMILY DRAMAS

Do you ever dread getting together with your family or your relatives for the holidays? Family gatherings should be JOYFUL this time of year and yet so many of us have a stress response to the old dramas that arise with our relatives. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. We have the power to stop dramas by shifting our response to them. In order to keep old dramas alive we have to be willing participants. When we no longer allow ourselves to get sucked in by the snide comments, put downs and jabs that may come our way, the drama goes away.

When I was growing up with my sister and my brother, we had a habit of competing with each other for our parent’s attention. This manifested as teasing and pushing each other’s buttons. Once I became aware of how these old dramas worked, I quit responding to them as a young adult. As a result these old behavioral patterns lost their power over me and our relationships changed. Today my siblings and I have a great time together! Even if old dramas are brought up we can collectively laugh at them.

If you are dreading seeing people who dim your vibe this holiday season, practice awareness over the old dramas that tend to arise during these occasions. You have the freedom to no longer participate in them, and once you make this decision, everything changes. Another important lesson that I have learned is that “we teach people how to treat us.” This is also a great tool to use durning the holidays. It’s important to be true to yourself. If someone is disrespectful, calmly let them know that you no longer want to be treated that way. It may take time before they change their behavior, but you will feel much better having shared your truth and in doing so you will feel empowered and your holidays will be more harmonious and happy!

I will continue this series on my next blog. Remember in the meantime to always practice compassion and kindness. If your feelings are hurt or your ego is triggered by another person, pause and respond calmly from a place of empathy. People who feel bad about themselves tend to project anger or criticism upon other people rather than dealing with it themselves. As we become more aware of this dynamic we can be less reactive and not become party to old dramas. Stay pleasant and enjoy this beautiful season. After all it is about family and love. Wishing you a wonderful week!

Mindfully yours,

Paul

Please click on the heart icon below if you enjoyed this blog. I look forward to bringing you the next three tips for creating happiness during the holidays this coming Saturday.


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Don't Worry If You Can't Do It All

It’s important to give yourself permission to slow down whenever you feel tired. We live under so much pressure to get everything done that we wear ourselves out and even make ourselves sick this time of year. As we go into December there are the added pressures of parties, entertaining and gift buying that put additional stress upon us. That’s why is is so important for us to prioritize what what really want or need to do and just say NO to the rest.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

For the next week I’m in Seattle doing back to back photo shoots for the blog and for clients. It’s super fun, but a busy shoot schedule is also time consuming and tiring. As a result I’m taking my own advice and keeping this blog short. Coming up next week on Total Soulful Journey I will share my favorite tips for reducing stress during this holiday season. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I appreciate your support so much!! Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,

Paul

P.S. - Your feedback means so much to me. Please click the heart below if you enjoyed this blog. I also appreciate your comments. I invite you connect with me on Instagram at either of my accounts: @totalsoulfuljourney & @thepaulgarrett. I am always happy to answer your questions, as well.


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How to Attract the Love of Your Life - Part 4 0f 4

If you are single or in an unhappy relationship you may be asking yourself, “How can I attract the love of my life” and the answer is become the love that you seek! You see we attract what we are and a lot of this has to do with the energy or vibes that we send out into the world. If you want to attract a person of high quality ask yourself, ”What do I need to improve about myself to attract a person of high caliber?” We must be willing to do our inner work, to open our hearts and connect with our souls in order to know ourselves enough to also determine the qualities and the characteristic of the person who we desire to attract into our lives. I’ll go deeper into this with a worksheet near the end of this blog because it is so important.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Attracting the Wrong People

You may also wonder, “Why do I keep attracting people who take advantage of me and break my heart over and over again?” This sadly happens for a number of reasons. One is because we don’t have healthy boundaries to protect ourselves. We fall in love with someone who resonates (vibration) with us and it feels so good that we fail to say something when the relationship loses its balance and the other person starts taking more than they give back. They may also become abusive and we are afraid to say anything until it’s too late and we are crushed once again. Part of this has to with what we learned about relationships when we were kids. If our parents didn’t have a loving relationship, then chances are that we will not have a healthy picture of love.

Another reason that we attract the wrong people is that we haven’t bothered to do our soul work, to raise our vibration and work on our self confidence and self worth. If we don’t feel like we deserve of a beautiful relationship, then we will be in low vibration and attract low vibrational people. This will lead to drama, co-dependency and a lot of disfunction in our relationships. There is an element of fear that comes into play here, such as the fear of abandonment, the fear of not being loved, the fear of being alone or the fear of not being able to provide financially for ourselves. Fear is a product of ego and as long as we are ruled by our egos, we are going to suffer. As you can see, fear is a major reason why we may settle for unhealthy relationships. If you suffer from any of these fears, consider living alone until you realize that you will always be fine whether or not you are in a relationship.

Becoming the Love of Your Life

To attract the love of our lives means that we have to become the LOVE of our life. Once again, we have to go inward and fall in love with ourselves. I know that this sounds narcissistic, but it is just the opposite. I’ve said it many times on this blog that we cannot fully love another person until we learn to fully love ourselves. Once we come into alignment in mind, body and spirit and truly love ourselves, we will begin radiating the higher vibration of love, and then we will be able to attract the healthy love that we’ve been seeking.

The Power of Writing a List

Three years ago my ex-wife sat down with me and said, let’s write down all of the qualities and characteristics that you are seeking in a woman. I had done years of self work and had a pretty clear vision of my perfect soul mate. You see it is very important to know yourself and to have a clear vision of where you want to go in your life and with what kind of people. Within three weeks of writing my list the woman who I described to my ex-wife DM’d me from two thousand miles away on Instagram. Her message to me was simple and beautiful and it said, “Wishing you an over the top great day.” We immediately hit it off and our connection was nothing less than magical and divine. From the beginning it felt like our souls were finally “HOME.” I’m currently in separation from this divine soul. Sometimes this happens in high vibrational relationships so that both people can take time out to heal past wounds and clear old karma. The good news is that this exercise of writing down the qualities and characteristics of the person who we desire to love has worked for many, many people and it may also work for you!

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Qualities and Characteristics

Start with yourself. Write your qualities and characteristics on a piece of paper. What are your best qualities? Next write down the qualities and characteristics that you want to work on and improve. I’ve provided a link to a worksheet below that will help you with this exercise:

Click HERE to download PDF Worksheet

Your Big Dream

Now write down your big dream. What do you dream of doing in your life both professionally and personally? How will the love of your life help you manifest your dreams? Realizing your dreams is up to you, but if you have a partner who does not believe in your dreams or even puts them down, you are going to struggle.

Your Passions

Now list three of your favorite activities or hobbies. For example, “I love to travel and want to see the world.” Or “I love hiking and camping.” It is so important that your partner also enjoys your favorite activities. When we share the same passions we can make beautiful new memories together doing what we love. This is great for keeping your bond together alive and vibrant. If our partner doesn’t enjoy our favorite things and resents when we take time to do them, our relationship will suffer.

Writing the List

Now that you have a vision for yourself, it’s time to write down the qualities and the characteristics of your soul mate. Imagine what they look like. If you find a beautiful smile to be attractive, write it down. Also list the activities that both of you will love doing. How about their character? Honest, loyal, fun, funny… What are the characteristics that vibe with your personality and your goals? Create a complete vision of everything that you are looking for in your perfect mate, including sleeping habits, preferred foods (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, eats meat), fitness level, sex drive and anything else that is important to you.

You can make your list as long as you like. Start with the first 20 qualities and characteristics that immediately come to mind and you can add more as you think of them…

Now that you have filled out the worksheet, you have a better vision of who you are looking for. Your vision will help you to attract this person into your life and also makes it possible to recognize your soul mate when you finally meet him or her.

Chemical Romance

Relationships involve both chemical and spiritual attractors. So many people are drawn into relationships based only on the chemical reactions within us. We meet a person and our bodies go “ZING!!” And when we become physically intimate our minds are flooded with oxytocin, the love hormone that bonds us together. This is a biological process that promotes the reproduction of our species. If we want our relationships to last beyond this electrically romantic stage, it is also important that our souls also connect on a spiritual level. This is what is meant by a match made in heaven. Biology alone may not hold us together when our relationships come under stress. Remember that we are mind, body and spirit, therefore it is important that our relationships align with all three of these aspects of our being.

Time to Manifest Your Soul Mate

There is someone out there for all of us. Some relationships are for learning purposes and may only last until the lesson is learned. Its purpose was to facilitate our growth and give us experience relating romantically with another person. Stay true to yourself and do not compromise your core values. When you know yourself and what you want you will make better decisions. Most of all, be yourself and have faith that your soul mate is also looking for you!!

With love,

Paul

P.S. - Your feedback means so much to me. Please click the heart below if you enjoyed this blog. I also appreciate your comments. I invite you connect with me on Instagram at either of my accounts: @totalsoulfuljourney & @thepaulgarrett. I am always happy to answer your questions, as well.


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What We All Can Learn About LOVE From Twin Flames - Part 3 of 4

Even if you are not a twin flame, I highly encourage you to read this article because we all ache for love and companionship at one time or another. There is a deep human need to feel connected, valued, safe and loved. From the moment that we are born, we experience separation from our mother and from our creator. Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons that we spend so much time yearning for union with the love of our lives in order to experience the comfort of ONENESS once again.

  When twin flames run from each other, they are often running from the dark parts of themselves that they don’t want to face. Photography by Paul Garrett

When twin flames run from each other, they are often running from the dark parts of themselves that they don’t want to face. Photography by Paul Garrett

What is the Point of the Twin Flame Journey?

The twin flame journey is all about burning away everything that no longer serves your highest greatest good. It forces you to look in the mirror and see all of your scars and shadows, the things that you don’t like about yourself, to learn from your wounds, to release past karma and to finally heal yourself. This is a purification process that can be very scary and lonely at the same time, and yet if you are on this path you will experience the most rapid spiritual growth of your life.

At its core, the twin flame journey is about coming into union with yourself. This is the most important relationship in your life. As you feel the painful discomfort of your separation from your twin, you will be forced to journey within yourself for the answers to your fears and the roots of your emotional pain. In the midst of this process you will find yourself, who you truly are, what you want out of life and you will also receive your life’s mission. Ultimately you will learn to LOVE and appreciate yourself unconditionally. As painful as this is, you will gain inner strength and step into your personal power. This is a strangely beautiful process and without the pain of your twin flame separation to push you through the fire, you would never have done this work on your own.

Twin Flame Separation

So what is twin flame separation? Let’s back up a bit. Twin flames pass through eight stages along their journey in order to finally harmonize and become ONE once again with each other. When twins first meet it is HEAVEN on EARTH! All of their senses are completely amplified by one another in the most beautiful of ways. There is an immediate recognition between their souls that goes far beyond what is experience between soul mates. After all, twin flames are two halves of the same soul in two bodies, and when they reunite it feels like they are finally HOME. Twin flames also experience over the top ecstasy while having sex and it’s not uncommon for them to ask one another if they have ever felt this amazing before. Another hallmark of twins uniting is that it is common for them to experience telepathy with one another and a heightening of their intuition. They know each other’s thoughts and they can even tell when their beloved has woken up from thousands of miles away. Furthermore, they meet in each others dreams and may also experience a powerful awakening of their kundalini, which activates their chakras. This stage is known as the bubble period. Both twins show up in the 5th dimension versus the normal 3D world that most people experience and get a sneak peak of what life will be like together after they have pass through all 8 stages of this journey.

The Crisis

The next stage is called the crisis. This is a major flash point that causes overwhelm for one of the twins and triggers the runner and the chaser stage. During this difficult phase one of the twins runs from the relationship as fears arise that this is all too good to be true, among other reasons. They just disappear and may even block their twin on social media and on their phone. As a result the other twin becomes the chaser. This is a very painful moment for the the chaser as it ignites their worst fears, those of abandonment and also of losing the greatest relationship that they have ever and will ever experience. The scary thing for the chaser is when their twin represses the incredible memories of their bubble period as he/she spirals downward into a lower vibration that the chaser can no longer tune into. At this point they feel the illusion of separateness even though twin flames are always energetically connected. This is when the telepathy ceases and the fear of never seeing their twin again creates great sadness and anxiety. What’s worse is that the runner may temporarily seek comfort within another karmic relationship because it matches the low vibrational frequency of their fears and the co-dependant patterns of their past relationships. Past patterns can feel familiar, but that doesn’t mean that they good for us. In fact, if the runner is honest with themselves they will realize that this is a step backwards and that they are jeopardizing the love that they have always dreamed of having. Not only have they run away from the other half of their soul, they have also run away from their twin flame mission, which is key to their life’s purpose and fulfillment.

Both twins at this stage of separation must learn to love themselves and cast out their fears. As they heal and raise their vibration they begin to remember the beauty of their relationship when they were in the bubble phase. A return to love raises their collective vibration, helps them to dissolve their egos, moves them forgive one another and eventually draws them back into union. After all, twins are here to raise the vibration of the planet and to help humanity heal. This is their destiny!

  The Twin Flame Journey is a process of Awakening. “Reunion” by Ayla. Please Visit her Instagram at    @aylabkyoga

The Twin Flame Journey is a process of Awakening. “Reunion” by Ayla. Please Visit her Instagram at @aylabkyoga

So What Can We Learn About Love From Twin Flames?

Twin flames teach us the power of self love and the importance of investing in ourselves so that we can be all that we were born to become. They also show us the beauty of a fully awakened and loving union. Some say that a great relationship is a 50/50 proposition when in reality twin flames show us that the happiest couples both bring 100% of themselves to the relationship. Imagine being complete on your own and the same being true for your partner. As two wholes there is no co-dependency, no fear of abandonment and other bad habits that become a drag on most relationships. Imagine if you were able to vanished all of your fears of separation and abandonment how much easier it would be for you to completely open your heart and fully love your partner. Imagine an unconditional love that lifts you up and encourages your personal and spiritual growth. Imagine unbridled sacred sex that ignites every atom in your body and sends you into nirvana! Twin flames are complete on their own, but together they create heaven on earth.

8 Twin Flame Stages

  1. Longing for your one true love.

  2. Meeting your twin. This can happen from thousands of miles away on social media.

  3. The bubble or fairytale stage - coming together and experiencing heaven on earth.

  4. The crisis - Something happens that triggers the twins to separate.

  5. The runner/chaser - one twin becomes overwhelmed runs away.

  6. Surrender - both twins surrender their egos, transmute their fears and heal.

  7. Reconciliation - The twins are drawn back to each other as they raise their vibration. They forgive each other and themselves realizing that everything that happened between them was essential for their healing journey.

  8. Harmonization and reunion - The twins reunite and once again experience heaven on earth as they were promised in the bubble stage. Together they pursue their twin flame mission to help humanity and make the world a better place. True love prevails.

You don’t have to be a twin flame to experience heaven on earth. You just have to do your self work, to lean to love yourself, to heal yourself, to discover your mission, to open your heart and to pursue your passion and your mission without hesitation. This will attract your soul mate, your life partner or your twin flame because your energy and your confidence will become irresistible to the person who was made for you. This takes work, courage and dedication to overcome all of the obstacles along your journey. But, remember that you are worth it and your dedication will pay off. After all, LOVE is your destiny!

Sending you love and light during this season of thanksgiving!

All the best,

Paul

P.S. - Your feedback means so much to me. Please click the heart below if you enjoyed this blog. I also appreciate your comments. I invite you connect with me on Instagram at either of my accounts: @totalsoulfuljourney & @thepaulgarrett. I am always happy to answer your questions, as well.

In the next blog I will give you tools to help you envision and attract your soul mate or twin flame.

Links to Popular Resources for Twin Flames:

Twin Flames 11:11

Twin Flame Psychic 1111

Twin Flames on YouTube

The Illumined Guru

Shamama Hunting Owl

Twinstrology

The Enchanted World of Twin Flame

Ascending Souls Journey

House of Idems

Twin flame books at amazon.com


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Relationships 101: Soul Mates - Part 2 of 4

One last thing about karmic relationships, they often involve emotional or physical abuse that dims your soul. These relationships can be difficult to escape and cause you emotional trauma for years to come. Don’t give up, isolate or numb yourself if you are in or have been in this kind of a relationship. Seek help to make sure that you are safe. We can all heal from trauma if we are willing to allow our wounds to be our teachers. Seek counseling, do your soul work, consider joining a yoga class (trauma is stored in the body and yoga can help you release it. Yoga will also take you out of your mind and give you a break from your troubling thoughts), surround yourself with supportive people and most of all learn how to love YOU. Our biggest obstacles can strangely become a gift in disguise that propels us toward becoming stronger, purpose driven and more compassionate.

What Are Soul Mates?

When we think about soul mates, romantic movies often come to mind. Remember that famous elevator scene in the film,”Jerry McGuire,” where a young man signs “you complete me” to his girlfriend? There’s such a romantic notion that our soul mate is the person who will fulfill all of our needs and finally make us feel complete. Beautiful, right?

When I met my high school sweetheart I remember telling my parents that I felt like I had known her all of my life. Soul mates feel familiar because they belong to the same soul family as us. We share common interests with them, have similar tastes, but most of all we vibe wonderfully with them . Soul mates, however, can also be friends or even relatives and we can have multiple soul mates throughout our lives.

9 Signs You Have You Have Found Your Soul Mate

  1. You feel like you have known them for a lifetime.

  2. They share a similar vibe as you. This is what makes them feel familiar.

  3. You feel like they understand you.

  4. You feel like you can let down your guard around them.

  5. They make you feel valued.

  6. They help you grow as a person.

  7. They love you unconditionally (for the most part).

  8. You can go years without seeing them and still feel like no time has passed.

  9. They may come into your life for just a season to teach you important lessons.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Soulmates are not only familiar and comfortable to be around, they also mirror and challenge the shadow aspects of ourselves. By triggering our emotional wounds, they help us to release the old traumatic energy that our bodies have been holding onto. This often becomes a point of friction in unawakened relationships. For the good health of our relationships it is important for us to pause when we are triggered. We should never hold our soul mates responsible for trauma that we experienced before meeting them. This is very hurtful to our partners and can cause distance to grow between us. I have a friend who recently accused me of being controlling. Anyone who really knows me, would never say that. This accusation came from a past abusive relationship and it had nothing to do with me. Still, it felt horrible and it should not have happened if she had just paused and allowed her feelings to pass while realizing the true source of this rage.

  Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

Most of us long to share our love with an equal partner. Someone who makes us feel desired and special. Soul mates make for excellent friends and they also can be wonderful partners for life. If you are married to a soul mate, never take them for granted. With our overly busy lives these days, it’s easy to put our marriages last on our “To Do” lists, especially if we are also raising children.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Marriage or Partnership Strong

  1. Treat each other like you did in the beginning when you fell in love with each other.

  2. Put your partner at the top of your list of priorities.

  3. Go out on dates and do fun activities together. It’s important to make new memories.

  4. Know each other’s Love Language.

  5. Always be thoughtful, kind and practice gratitude.

  6. Never use harsh or hurtful language. Mean words can be forgiven, but not forgotten.

  7. Communicate your needs to your partner.

  8. Listen to understand.

  9. Do not go to sleep when you are angry with your soul mate. It’s important to resolve conflict peacefully.

  10. Make time for romance, holding hands, hugs and sex. Touch is a beautiful thing because it releases oxytocin in our bodies. This is the hormone of love and bonding and it makes us feel wonderful.

Life is especially beautiful when it is shared with a soul mate. It’s wonderful to know that someone in this world deeply loves you and has your back. You will know when you find your soul mate because you will feel the energetic pull between the two of you. Like attracts like because much of attraction is all about energy. So how do you go about finding your soulmate? I will give you some tools to help you find that special person in the forth installment of this four part series on love and relationships.

With love,

Paul

P.S. - Your feedback means a lot to me. Please click the heart below if you found value in this blog. I also appreciate your comments. You can connect with me on Instagram at either of my accounts: @totalsoulfuljourney & @thepaulgarrett. I am always happy to answer your questions.


Awaken • Inspire • Empower

New Posts Every Tuesday and Saturday

Relationships 101: What are Karmic Relationships, Soul Mates and Twin Flames? - Part 1 of 4

Why We Repeat The Same Relationship Mistakes

We are creatures of habit and our behavior and desires are highly influenced by the neural-pathways that we have created in our brains during our life. Old patterns of thinking, while subconscious, are effortless compared with creating new and healthier thoughts and behaviors thanks to the way that our brains work. According to F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. in Psychology Today, “We are comfortable with familiar patterns, even when they cause us stress or pain. We therefore continue to repeat them, even when they do not get us where we want to go.”

  Quote by Idil Ahmed. Photography by Paul Garrett

Quote by Idil Ahmed. Photography by Paul Garrett

Breaking old relationship habits requires us to become conscious of our mistakes and to realize why we keep going back to the type of partners who are not good for us or our spiritual growth. For example, it is not uncommon for a woman to be attracted to alcoholic men if her father was an alcoholic while she was growing up. This is what was familiar or even normal to her and most likely she learned how to nurture these men by watching her mother cater to her dad’s addiction and abusive behavior.

The Betrayal of Disengagement

Unhealthy relationships aren't only about physical or verbal abuse. They also involve neglect. Great relationships are a dynamic partnership where both people contribute to and nurture each other’s needs both emotionally, spiritually and physically. One of the biggest betrayals of relationships, for example, is what Dr. Brene Brown calls the betrayal of disengagement on page 51 of her best selling book, “Daring Greatly…” According to the author: “When we think about betrayal in terms of the marble jar metaphor, most of us think of someone we trust doing something so terrible that it forces us to grab the jar and dump out every single marble. What’s the worst betrayal of trust? He sleeps with my best friends. She lies about where the money went. He/she chooses someone over me. Someone uses my vulnerability against me (an act of emotional treason that causes most of us to slam the entire jar to the ground rather than just dumping out the marbles.) All terrible betrayals, definitely, but there is a particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious and equally corrosive to trust.

In fact, this betrayal usually happens long before the other ones. I’m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship. The word betrayal evokes experiences of cheating, lying, breaking a confidence, failing to defend us to someone else who’s gossiping about us, and not choosing us over other people. These behaviors are certainly betrayals, but they’re not the only form of betrayal. If I had to choose the form of betrayal that emerged most frequently from my research and that was the most dangerous in terms of corroding the trust connection, I would would say disengagement.”

  Every relationship teaches us lessons. Photography by Dylan Garrett

Every relationship teaches us lessons. Photography by Dylan Garrett

There are 3 types of relationships that I want to address:

  1. Karmic

  2. Soul Mates

  3. Twin Flames aka Twin Souls

What are Karmic Relationships?

Karmic relationships are the most common. We meet someone who is familiar to us and we fall in love. We may even feel like we found the perfect partner because they feel so comfortable at first because they are from our town, our past or they may even remind us of a parent. This is normal in all three types of relationships. However, if we are inexperienced at love, have suffered trauma in past relationships, have low self esteem, are especially attracted to financial security (ego loves this one) or we are fearful of being alone, chances are that we will experience karmic relationships over and over again until we wake up from this pattern of attraction and become conscious of why we keep repeating this cycle.

When we suffer from low self esteem, we are at a higher risk of settling for unfulfilling relationships. If the story that we tell ourselves is that this is the best that we can do, then we tend to settle for partners who are beneath us. It’s not only our low self esteem that is at play, it’s also the familiarity that I mentioned before because we think that we know this person. They remind us of the past and sync with the neurological pathways in our brains. We may even feel like we are “home” when we go through the romantic stage with them. As the drug of new love wears off, however, the old patterns of disfunction and even abusive behavior begin to creep back in just as they always do.

 
Trust
Release
Accept
Move on
— Author unknown
 

These relationships may also have stormy beginnings, where fighting and drama are mistaken for passion. Heightened emotions stem from conditioned fears such as the fear of being alone or the fear of not being able to financially care for ourselves. The fear of vulnerability and of being abandoned also create insecurity and volatility. These are deeply engrained emotions that lead to codependency, which is an unhealthy attachment to another person. Fights break out, harsh words are exchanged, followed by makeup sex. This is not real passion and it is definitely not unconditional love, but it’s easy to make these mistakes in a karmic relationship.

The whole purpose of karmic relationships is to wake us up in a sense and teach us important lessons, such as what not to look for the next time that we seek another partner. According to Kate Rose in an article that she wrote for Elephant Journal, “Karmic relationships burn hot and seem almost intoxicating at times, but the entire point of these types of relationships is to come into our lives, change us—and then leave.

Eight Traits That Make Us Vulnerable to Karmic Relationships:

  1. Low Self Esteem

  2. Familiarity

  3. Fear

  4. Absence of good role models of love

  5. Mistaking drama for passion

  6. Active ego

  7. Traumatic wounds

  8. Settling for low quality relationships

As we learn and grow from our relationship mistakes, we can make better choices in the future. Raising our self esteem, healing our wounds and becoming intentional about who we really want to attract are very important. As we level up, we raise our confidence and our self worth.

Amber Lee Sear’s Story

In a recent post on Instagram, Amber Lee Sears (@epicself) wrote:

“The universe is responding to who you BELIEVE you are.

You see I didn’t always believe I deserved or was worthy of a man like @awakenwithjp. I didn’t believe I deserved to be treated with the utmost respect and honor because I didn’t even gift that respect to myself.

So I kept choosing guys that weren’t the best for me. I kept repeating the same cycle over and over again, with subtle variations, hoping my external reality would shift without me having to do any inner work on myself. Because facing my own insecurities and self hatred was far too painful to experience sometimes. Sound familiar?

But, I knew there was a major link between my own insecurities and the men I was choosing. So I did the deep dive into self again, and again and again. I cleared years of emotional baggage energetically and physically.

I started feeling lighter, more confident, and remembered the strength of my radiant heart and limitless potential.”

This is a beautiful illustration of how self work transforms us and makes it possible to attract the perfect person who will love us fully and let us love them fully in return.

  Quote by Kate Rose from Elephant Journal. Photography by Paul Garrett

Quote by Kate Rose from Elephant Journal. Photography by Paul Garrett

Manifest Now

In her book, “Manifest Now,“ Idil Amed writes, “Everything changes when you begin to love yourself. You no longer send out energy of desperation or need to be filled from the outside. You become a powerful source within yourself that attracts better. The more that you love who you are the less that you seek validation and approval.”

Life is all about personal growth and expansion. As long we commit to becoming the best versions of , we can learn big lesson from our karmic relationships and prepare ourselves to experience a greater depth of love and satisfaction in the future. This transformation is important in order for us to attract a soulmate or even our twin flame.

In my upcoming blogs I will explore the similarities and the differences between soul mates and twin flames. Thanks so much for taking time to read this blog! Please click on the heart below if you found this information to be useful. Wishing you a wonderful day and a beautiful life.

With love,

Paul

P.S. - Click on the title of this blog and scroll to the bottom of it if you would like to leave a comment. I would also love to connect with you on Instagram at @thepaulgarrett and at @totalsoulfuljourney.


Awaken • Inspire • Empower

New Posts Every Tuesday and Saturday

Dear Loneliness - by guest blogger Elisa Moga

Dear Loneliness - by guest blogger Elisa Moga

I recently met Elisa Moga on Instagram and was instantly impressed with her maturity, vulnerability and soulful reflections. Elisa grew up in Southern France, studied yoga in India and presently resides in Australia where she teaches yoga, writes poetry and enjoys photography. It is my pleasure to welcome Elisa as a guest blogger on Total Soulful Journey. I believe that you will appreciate her interesting perspective on how she made peace with her feelings of loneliness while living on her own in a foreign land.

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How to Survive Painful Events in Your Relationship

How to Survive Painful Events in Your Relationship

Betrayal cuts such deep wounds in our hearts and tears at the connective fabric of our relationships. How we treat a loved one in a time of conflict says a lot about our inner turmoil, our character and where we are along our spiritual path.

Years ago in the heat of divorce my ex and I had numerous shouting matches. The less that we felt like we were being heard by one another, the louder our voices became. Our daughter, who is a very wise young adult, finally intervened saying, “Stop mom and dad! This is going nowhere!” She was right. I was fighting to save our marriage, but it was already over. There was nothing more that I could say to turn the boat around. The only healing option was to accept this new reality, forgive and move on.

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7 Signs That Your Partner is Cheating On You And Why Character Matters

7 Signs That Your Partner is Cheating On You And Why Character Matters

We are not only what we say we are, but more truthfully we are the sum total of our actions. Character matters because it is the foundation on which trust is created between people. This particularly matters in business relations, as well as in intimate relationships where trust is absolutely necessary.

People who say one thing and then do something totally contrary have no credibility. Word is bond. It’s how we learn if we can trust one another, and trust is something that we have to earn. It is not an entitlement. It can take years to earn trust and only a careless moment to lose it all forever. We all know about physical and emotional affairs, but it is also dishonest to lead someone on if you have no intentions of being committed to that person who loves and honors you.

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How To Start Over When Your Plans Are Shattered

How To Start Over When Your Plans Are Shattered

We make plans in life and sometimes they unexpectedly fall apart forcing us to start all over again. This can be a time of fear, anxiety, shame, sadness and intense stress. We may even find ourselves encountering dark thoughts as the future that was once full of hope and direction is suddenly blank and empty. If you find yourself in this position, please know that this is temporary and that you have the power within you to ride out the storm and create a better life for yourself.

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Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?

Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?

This week I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life regarding healthy boundaries. It was very sad to do, yet completely necessary. Just typing that sentence has made my left hand start to shake. I can intellectualize my choice, but perhaps my body is telling me that there is so much more that I do not even know about this situation. Maybe there is a resistance that doesn’t want me to share such intimacy with you, buried emotions that aren’t ready to be reveal, or an invisible thread that wants to pull me back?


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How To Overcome The Poverty of Thought And Make Your Dreams Come True

How To Overcome The Poverty of Thought And Make Your Dreams Come True

What often holds us back from achieving our dreams are our limiting thoughts, beliefs and habits. In a way this is a form of poverty that keeps us in a state of lack and hopelessness. By understanding how our conscious and our subconscious minds work, we can literally reprogram our minds for success and to start living our dreams. Please watch this informative video by Dr. Bruce Lipton. He does an excellent job of explaining how our brains work and how to reprogram them:

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Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Do I Have a Drinking Problem?

Alcohol is a huge problem that many Americans do not want to admit. It surrounds us on television, in movies, and at movie theaters, restaurants, bars, and even sometimes at work meetings. Yoga studios are even hosting events like vino & vinyasa and asanas & ales to lure people in. Consuming alcoholic beverages has not only become the social norm, but it seems almost expected of us. Beverages are marketed to appeal to younger people and make drinking appear sexy. There is even hard water which is 6% alcohol. It tastes like fruity sparkling water and is marketed as a low calorie healthy alternative. To make matters worse, apparently fake ID’s are easily attainable and inexpensive so please talk with your underage children and know what is happening in their lives.

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What Does "As Within, So Without" Mean?

What Does "As Within, So Without" Mean?

What does “As Within, So Without” mean to you? This expression is considered to be a universal truth or law which shows us that the outside world is a reflection of our inner world. What we feel and what we believe have a tendency to manifest in our lives. For this reason it is very important to raise our awareness regarding this universal truth and to understand how it applies to our lives.

For example, have you had periods in your life where bad things keep happening to you and it feels like you never get a break from the problems and challenges that keep weighing you down? Stop and think about this,

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Why Do We Seek Validation and Approval?

Why Do We Seek Validation and Approval?

The vast majority of society seeks approval or validation from others. We learn at a young age to occassionally look up at mom and dad, waiting for that nod or smile to show that what we are doing is ok. As we grow we look to teachers for praise. Once we are adults we need to be told we are doing well at work and we even look to social media for likes and comments. All of these are forms of validation and approval.

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The Importance of Every Journey

The Importance of Every Journey

For the past four weeks I have been on a solo journey across the western states of the USA. I’ve traveled over 5000 miles while visiting beautiful National Parks such as Glacier, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and the Redwoods. Along the way I have enjoyed countless conversations with people from across America and from around the world. Inevitably Total Soulful Journey came up in these conversations along with a host of questions about life, reaffirming that people are hungry for actionable information on how they can live their best lives.

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5 Tips for a Strong Morning Routine

5 Tips for a Strong Morning Routine

Rise and Shine! We have all heard that popular saying, however, most of us wake up and hit the snooze button rather than jumping out of bed with enthusiasm to begin our day. The first hour of the day determines our success. Do you immediately reach for your phone upon waking to check texts, emails, or social media? I know I sure did. I use to use my phone as my alarm and until  I became aware of how mindlessly I was scrolling through it and I could not change my habit. Our mindset determines our habits and our habits & thoughts determine our outcomes. I realized I want to thrive rather than simply survive, don’t we all?

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The 5 Love Languages - A Book Review

The 5 Love Languages - A Book Review

 “The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman, is a New York Times Bestseller. According to the author, we all have one primary love language. If your partner speaks a language that is different from yours, it is difficult to effectively communicate. This is also true when it comes to each others love language. When we fully understand and respect the 5 love languages as identified and explained so beautifully in this book, we are then able to understand our partner, as well as ourselves and work together to effectively communicate.

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