As I went through my 20s I was unable to realize my talents because I was full of limiting beliefs about how much money someone in the arts could make. Determined to be a starving artist, I made choices that gave me interesting artistic experiences but little to no money. As I got older, I picked jobs that would make me money but gave me no fulfillment as a person. This conflict became the theme of my professional life.
In my personal life, I was holding onto a failed relationship from college. I was attracted to unavailable women. When I met a woman who was interested in me, I wondered what was wrong with her. Couldn't she see what a mess I was? I was in no place to even think about a committed relationship.
So at 34, I began to change everything I could in my life. I changed my diet to be more conscious of what I was eating, I sobered up, and I started practicing yoga and meditation. And I discovered the power of hypnotherapy through the referral of a friend. I quickly worked through several core issues in my life and began to discover a deeper purpose. I realized that teaching and helping people was what gave me the most fulfillment. The question became: How would I fulfill this purpose?
A week of meditation led me to a class in hypnotherapy. After studying for a year and graduating with honors, I opened my practice and began to see clients. I also started teaching workshops about the concepts I had discovered. Hypnosis, along with a daily meditation and introspection practice, began to reveal to me the patterns from my past that were showing up in my relationships.
I grew up in a family in which I didn't feel comfortable being myself. My siblings are very practical, hands-on people and I was always an artist and a dreamer. I never felt like I fit in. My brothers and I were very competitive, and I was teased and made fun of for most of my childhood. I began to realize that I had internalized that teasing to mean that there was something wrong with me.
Feeling rejected for who I was, I sought out rejection in relationships. I also became very good at sabotaging any good relationships I would stumble into. Recognizing this pattern allowed me to begin to heal that story. I learned to love and appreciate me for who I was. And when I learned to love myself unconditionally, I was able to accept love unconditionally from someone else. All of this came home to me when early in our relationship, Orna said to me "You are perfect for me. You don't have to change one thing. I love you exactly as you are." Stop Blaming Others: The Power Of Owning Our Imperfections
When I'd decided I was really ready for a serious committed relationship, I put everything I had learned into practice. I created a vision board with pictures of women with dark, curly hair. I visualized ideal scenes of me and my lover sharing the kind of life I wanted—and I started living that way, too.
I finally released myself from that old college flame by writing a letter to her sharing all that I had learned from having her in my life and how it shaped me to be the man I was. And I became really clear on what I wanted, even creating a list of 20 things that I was looking for in a relationship. The beauty of that list is that Orna fits nineteen and a half out of those twenty items.
I truly learned that you can create the relationship you desire. You can create love on purpose. And that is why we do the work we do. We've walked that path; made most of the mistakes you can make in relationship and learned how to become what we desired in relationship. We are also learning that creating love on purpose is a daily practice, a choice to focus on love, not on the ego needs of control or approval. And we learned that anyone can do what we did, if you truly desire it. It is never too late; so don't settle for good enough. Create what you desire and don't stop until you get it.