What are people saying about The Pathway to Love:

“Insightful, practical, heartfully and psychologically sound, The Pathway to Love provides the steppingstones to creating genuine love in your life.  It is a must-read for those who value honesty, authentic commitment to self and other, and appreciate relationship as a vehicle to self-actualization.”

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation~Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential

 

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You will wonder at times how she knew about you and a particular significant other because she seems to describe you and the relationship to a T. And, when you read the last page you will wish you had read it years and a number of relationships earlier.

Irene Conlan

I have read other books on this topic which spoke to me... This book, which I got in the Kindle version, pulled it all together for me--the biology, personal values, self identity, the human quest for belonging and intimacy. The book... brought to me great understanding. I wish I had ordered the paper version with the workbook. I ended up going back and ordering it.

Paula Markgraf Katz

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Monday
Nov252013

Gratitude: ‘Tis the Season

Thanksgiving is the time of year we stop and reflect on all the things for which we are grateful. And while practicing gratitude is a year round job, let's take advantage of the opportunity to formally reflect on the people, things and experiences that bring joy, appreciation and love into our lives, our relationships, and our world.

This past week I've spent some time contemplating what kinds of things I want to add to this year's gratitude list. I thought about being funny. I thought about all the "duh" things I'm grateful for (good health, family, friends, etc.) and I thought about all those things that happen unexpectedly or unnoticed. I decided that since the obvious is the obvious and my sense of humor may work for some but not for others, I would go with number three. So here's my top ten list of unexpected surprises (and some taken for granted givens) that bring gratitude into my heart.

I am grateful for

  1. The times when my dogs snuck out of the backyard and some stranger noticed, caught them, called me and walked the dogs back to my home, safely securing them back into my yard. Neighbors like this are what make a neighborhood feel like family.
  2. Those unexpected thank you cards that arrive in person or by mail, those that are hand written and express gratitude for something I did or said that made a difference. A thank you goes a long way and knowing you made a positive difference in someone's life is gratifying. I know email is convenient but the written word on real paper sends a whole different message.
  3. The woman who sends me a smile and a "have a great run" every time I pass her on the strand. Her warmth and smile makes my day and I appreciate her salutations every time. She extends a greeting to everyone she passes and does so without expecting anything in return. We should all be a bit more like her.
  4. All the people in my life who graciously forgive me when I disappoint or hurt them in any way. Knowing that my intentions are good, being on the receiving end of understanding, compassion and forgiveness for those moments when I did not shine my best, is both humbling and healing. It is not taken for granted.
  5. All the people in my life who have graciously apologized for those times that they acted out in anger or irreverence to my feelings. It takes courage and integrity to take responsibility for your actions and their impact. An apology goes a long way and I know what it takes to extend one. Not always easy.
  6. All the moms out there that helped me as "second, third and fourth Moms" to my kids, carpooling them to soccer games, helping me out when a crisis emerged, and volunteering for PTA's and other extra-curriculum volunteer committees. As a single mother, there are simply times when you are unable to fulfill parenting duties (those goes for married Moms as well). It really does take a village and for all the Moms (and Dads) out there that help each other out, you are truly appreciated. I couldn't have done it without you.
  7. The person who will allow me to cross a lane even when I'm trying to do so at the last minute because I didn't plan in advance or notice I needed to be in another lane to execute a turn or exit. I know this one may sound silly or mundane but when you need to get over to the next lane and someone intentionally cuts you off, it sucks. On the other hand, when someone motions you to go ahead, you feel a part of a community that understands we all have someplace to go and we all make mistakes in navigating our way there. I'm grateful for those that have a cooperative commuter attitude.
  8. Those people who are willing to take on the "messy" jobs in life. When the need arises, I'm grateful for the workers that will fix the toilet, clean the sewers, pick up the trash, put out the fires, clean the wounds, and attend to the elderly that are no longer able to care for themselves. Some jobs are simply more demanding and messy than others and the people who take on those roles with professionalism and a caring attitude make the rest of our lives work better. Don't ever underestimate the value of the person who is willing to clean up after your mess or take care of a responsibility that you would rather not.
  9. The fact that my life is relatively easy. I have clean running water, electricity, a warm house, all the conveniences that modern life has to offer, a way to make a living, good friends, great parents that are still alive, two fantastic daughters, and a man that holds me close every night before I go to sleep. I'm lucky. Not everyone is and I know it. I'm grateful to have this life and hope that in my own way, I contribute to the betterment of others. I do my best although I'm sure my best is not enough.
  10. Those who have committed their life to helping others in need. While my work is directed toward this cause, there are many others that have dedicated their lives in much more significant ways to the betterment of humankind. Our problems are complex and vast here on planet earth. We have not been great stewards to the planet and our fellow living beings (and creatures alike). And while there are still millions that contribute to the problems every day, there are thousands that work to find solutions and alleviate immediate suffering. There are thousands that work tirelessly to protect those that cannot protect themselves. There are still more that advocate for other living creatures with which we share our planet and for the planet itself. I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. Enjoy your feast and take the time to reflect on your gratitude list. I'd love to know what yours entail so feel free to share! 

(Just click read in browser and leave a comment at the end of the article)

With gratitude,

Julie 

P.S. If you or someone you know wants to create a transformational relationship with the person you love, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

And don't forget to catch my radio/TV show Pathways to Love w'Julie Orlov LIVE every Sunday 1:30pm PST on LATalkLive!

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct272013

Love and Relationship Q&A w'Julie Orlov "Why is it so difficult to forgive?"

Today's question deals with how difficult it can be to forgive someone who has hurt or disappointed you. This video Q&A talks about the power of forgiveness, how to move from anger and defensiveness toward forgiveness and why it will set you free!

Click “Read in Browser” to access the video. And for those of you that rather read than watch, enjoy my article on the topic entitled “The Art of Forgiveness.”

The Art of Forgiveness

When someone or something has done you wrong, it is easy to get lost in feeling hurt, disappointed, angry, and betrayed. It is easy to feel foolish, stupid and just plain resistant to the notion of “forgive and forget.” We erroneously believe that when we hold on to our feelings and beliefs about what was done to us, we hold on to our power. Furthermore, we believe that if our "perpetrator" is punished or pays enough restitution, we will find our way to feeling satisfied that justice has been served.

Ironically, neither is true. Revenge can be a bottomless pit. And holding on to anger and hurt simply drains you from your power rather than restoring it.

The only way out is through forgiveness. When we forgive, we take back our power. We find peace of mind. We use our energy in ways that serve us and leave the person that hurt us with the space to deal with his actions and her issues, as opposed to you and your emotional reaction. In other words, forgiveness restores power and responsibility where it belongs, respectively. 

So the next time you are faced with finding your way toward forgiveness, here are some thoughts to consider...

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Sunday
Sep292013

What Does a Good Relationship Feel Like?

A good relationship is like a good bottle of wine. It gets better with time. There is no substitute for time. Relationships develop; they just don't magically spontaneously emerge. It takes consistent effort and attention to grow a relationship. If you put the effort in, the pay-off is yours for the keeping.

During phase one*, relationships feel good, scary, uncertain, idealized, dreamy—a roller-coaster ride.

During phase two*, relationships feel settled in, yet rocky. This is the time when struggles, disappointments, and conflicts are at their peak. This is when you begin to build your relationship muscle. This is the time when you wonder why you're here and how long you want to stay. This is the time you fear your significant other will leave or betray you in some way. This is a different kind of ride—one that feels more settled and solid but with more unease, unrest and doubt.

If you do the work of phase one and two, you begin to reap what you've sown.  You move into phase three*. This is when a relationship feels GOOD all the time and GREAT most of the time.

If you've never had this kind of relationship or if you've never been around a couple that has this kind of relationship, this may feel foreign to you. If you want this kind of relationship, then it will help if you can imagine what it feels like to be in a good relationship. This way, you'll recognize it when it comes your way, accept nothing less, and begin to understand what it takes to get there.

To help you with this, I've written a short visualization for you. Record it if you like, or simply imagine what it feels like to be there. Picture yourself in this kind of relationship and it just might come true for you!

Click Read in Browser to access the visualization and full article.

*Phase one, two and three are part of The Pathway to Love, a developmental approach to understanding and growing relationships in powerful and healthy ways. For more information on The Pathway to Love books and programs, visit www.JulieOrlov.com/24-hour-relationship-help 

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Sunday
Aug252013

Today I Woke Up Without My Sense of Humor 

I woke up this morning without my sense of humor. I was feeling pretty good yesterday. That is, until I expressed my concerns about a family event to my significant other. His response was less than helpful, although I know his intentions were good. So instead of feeling reassured, I ended up with a feeling of "yuck." To make matters worse, I continued to express another concern that came to mind in reaction to his "sharing."  He not only fell asleep soon after this vulnerable moment but then later during the night proceeded to initiate "you know what"  in a way that was in direct opposition to what I had requested just some five hours earlier.

So I begin to question things. Is he passive aggressive? Is he tuned out? Did he forget the importance of what I was communicating? Is he simply clueless?

Then I remembered.... He's just a guy. But he's my guy. And yes, sometimes he's passive aggressive, sometimes he's tuned out, and sometimes he's simply forgetful and clueless. That's just the way it goes from time to time.

Now, for you guys out there that are feeling attacked and picked on—I implore you to refrain from hitting "reply" and sending me letters. Because you have your own version for us gals. There are moments when you shake your head in disbelief at the things we say and do, the things we want, and the way we think and feel. There are no double standards here—the same goes for everyone.

Now, back to my story.

So I woke up this morning thinking, who is this guy I live with and why do I? I began to think of all the reasons why I should "dump" him. But after a short while, I stopped myself.  I took some deep breaths and started to see things more clearly.

He's a great guy and an imperfect guy. He behaves like a typical man—which is sometimes good and sometimes challenging. He's the person I love and with whom I have chosen to share my life. 

Then I turned the mirror toward myself?  Who am I in this equation?

I'm someone who has high expectations and isn't afraid to ask for what I need and express how I feel. I'm someone who is sensitive and who at times will over-react to situations and events when my expectations aren't met and when I'm feeling exceptionally vulnerable. I'm also someone who at the end of the day can sort all that out and find perspective and a sense of humor once again. 

So as I sit here this morning and remember what is truly important, I wanted to share these thoughts with you. When you find yourself disappointed, baffled, frustrated, or at a loss for words, remember this.

Your partner is not perfect and never will be. Men are men, women are women. And while the differences that exist between you and your partner can be challenging at times, in the end, they are what makes the relationship work.

Your expectations will not be met—at least, most of the time. Expectations are really another way to say "I wish you were more like me." Find your way back to appreciating the fact that your partner isn't more like you. Two of you would simply be too much of one thing.

Find your sense of humor. Most people have good will most of the time. Most situations are harmless (and for those that aren't, please refer to my other articles that address real relationship problems) and for those that are harmless, let go and laugh about it. Find a way to look at your partner and their baffling behavior as endearing comic relief.

And finally, don't take any of it personally. 

As for me? I've worked my way back to a grin and am finding my way toward a little chuckle :-)....

If you or someone you know is struggling to create a loving and intimate relationship, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships. 

Be well,

Julie

P.S. And don't forget to catch my radio/TV show Pathways to Love w'Julie Orlov LIVE every Sunday 1:30pm PST on LATalkLive!

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul272013

The Truth about Relationships

Relationships take work. No one likes the word "work" let alone doing it. People prefer to do things and have things that require less effort and more ease. It's just human nature. If one has the choice to climb up a hill or down a hill, most would choose the downhill route. However, hills that only go one way down do not exist. Relationships work the same. You can't expect a relationship to be good and easy without having the experience of the uphill route from time to time. This is especially true as you traverse the second phase of relationship building. Phase two* is that challenging space  between the time when things are magically (and temporarily) easy and where real deep love and intimacy reside.

We humans do what we can to avoid the uphill struggle. We avoid, sabotage, deny, and flee. In the end, we lose—because to avoid the uphill climb, we also miss out on the joy and satisfaction of having come down the other side. We are tempted to cut the journey short and stay stuck in a small and often lonely place.

Unfortunately, some people take advantage of our vulnerabilities. They will try to sell you the idea that relationships can and should be easy—and of course, they have just the thing that you can purchase to get you there in 10 easy steps or less. We all know deep down that this is nonsense. Relationships require the same kind of rigor, commitment, discipline and attention that building anything worthwhile requires over time. You can't get to phase three or four* in a relationship without doing the work of phase two. You simply can't skip phases. Every time we try to create shortcuts in life we create a mess instead.

So as much as I'd like to promise you a downhill journey, the truth is we all need to adopt or readopt a solid work ethic. Creating long lasting and satisfying relationships require a certain kind of discipline—one that understands it takes consistent effort over time—one that knows if this is done, then slowly, over the years, one can and will build a relationship that is strong and vibrant, one that will last and flourish, one that honors and protects.

This topic is so important. There is much more to read! Click Read in Browser to finish the article!

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