For the past 55 days I have thought deeply and incessantly about love. How does one attract love? How does one build self-love? and when one finds love how does one keep it alive?
I thought about the men i’ve attracted in the past and the man that I hope to be with. Ofcourse my check-list of the things I want in the man had to pop out.
etc etc etc
I thought that I had questioned and studied my check-list and assumed I ended up with a pretty healthy one. But then a good friend named Joseph asked me to probe a bit deeper and gave me an INCREDIBLE exercise that I wanted to share with you today.
Joseph told me to imagine two trees.
The first tree is me (or you if you are doing this exercise), where I have both roots and branches.
The second tree is the man of my dreams, where he has both roots and branches.
Joseph asked do you know what would be in the roots vs the branches? What would make them different and what is their composition?
I looked at him with a blank stare, I said if you are asking what I want sure yes and I carried to list my check-list. He replied no and explained.
Know yourself: In order to know what tree you want next to you, you must first know yourself. Do you know what your roots are? Do you know what are just added things in your life that come and go with the seasons?
Roots definitions: Your core deepest values. The values that you base your decisions on both consciously and subconsciously.
Branches definition: The things that add to your life but do not make who you are at your core. They may amplify your values but they do not define you.
Know the strength of the roots vs branches: He explained how we all have roots and branches but some are more fostered than others. He said the stronger the roots the stronger the overall tree, as with strong roots the tree can go through all seasons from intense winds to freezing snow to sunny days. Branches cannot and are meant to be seasonal. So he asked me again what are my roots, how strong are they and how am I fostering them?
Test whether the qualities are truly roots or branches: He reminded me that we as individuals change constantly but there are certain things that define us so deeply they will remain there. So he poked on my list and questioned my Arab characteristic. I put that as something I wanted in a man since it is what I grew up identifying as but he without having to say much clearly saw it as a branch (not a root). He advised me to sit with myself and reflect, is being with an Arab really at the core of who I am? What if I met a German with all the core values (aka the roots) that I desired but clearly wasn’t Arab? What would I do then? He then picked another characteristic which was successful. He asked me to explain what do I define as successful and proceeded to describe what sounded like an alpha male business man. Then Joseph asked what if he was a scholar? what if he was a man who studied and lived a lifestyle in the library which was very different from what I imagined? Quickly I realized that even my definition of a characteristic needed to be question, not just the characteristic itself.
Visualize your tree and your partners tree: Once your comfortable on what is a root vs branches, you want to start attracting the man (or woman). The first step Joseph advised me is to embody the characteristics and visualize your tree and your partners tree. Once you know what what you stand for you and what roots you are hoping to attract, visualize it
With that, practice makes perfect they say. With practice however I would add knowing, feeling and believing. Take time to feel how incredible it would be to have found that magnificent companion.
This may sound simple but it was truly a transformative exercise and I hope it helps you as much as it has for me. I have expanded my heart, learnt about my deeper true self and go out into the dating world with more clarity on what roots I am seeking.
We would love to hear your experiences with this exercise, if you would like to share please submit your thoughts, comments below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of Love,
Founder of 365 Days of Love