Monthly Archives

December 2011


Keeping Your Love A.L.I.V.E.

A couple of years ago I officiated at an elegant wedding on a beautiful summer day in a vineyard in California’s Napa Valley. In the service I shared the famous quote on marriage from U.S. President Abraham Lincoln who said, “ninety percent of your happiness in life comes from your choice in a mate.” I then congratulated the well-matched bride and groom on their choice. Only later did I learn that poor Mrs. Lincoln suffered from post partum psychosis which was one of many challenges they faced in their marriage.

After more than 25 years as a relationship coach and international television relationship expert, having written four books on love and created the Power of Love and Money seminar series, I have worked with thousands of couples.  All of those couples have had something in common; they all faced challenges in their marriage, so have I and you will too – that’s called life. You have reason to feel hopeful and encouraged because I’m about to teach you a proven system to keep your love ALIVE and growing even in challenging times.

The A in ALIVE stands for Authentic, the best way to show up in your relationship is as your true self, expressing your true feelings and needs in a skilful way. (more on skill in a moment). Faking it in any way will build a wall, which ultimately destroys love. Authenticity keeps it real between you so your love can grow.

Love of course is symbolized by the L in ALIVE. Love itself has the power to motivate us to grow and work to become better people, so we can be better partners. That is the secret, the purpose of life is to keep growing.  Learning to love unconditionally gives us our best shot.

Insight allows us to understand ourselves and why we feel and think the way we do. If we can see it and feel it we can change it, if we need to. That’s why I is in the middle of ALIVE.

You are going to benefit greatly from reminding yourself of the meaning of the letter V in ALIVE, it means Victory. We want to hold the most inspiring outcome in mind and work toward it.  Make Victory your goal “ I commit to doing and learning what is needed to  create Victory in my marriage”.

The last letter in ALIVE is E. Well the rubber must meet the road, so Effective actions are necessary that’s why I created the power of Love and Money Seminars. I teach scientifically proven tools for handling feelings, like emotional intelligence. My male students learn the secrets of the female brain.  One student’s wife called to tell me her husband had become “her rock “since he joined the seminars, while another husband called to let me know that his marriage had been renewed because he had been able to gain insight into his angry behavior and transform it.

My message is simple, when we learn better we do better. That’s the key to keeping your love ALIVE.  I have a special wedding  gift for you: A free ALIVE seminar for you and your entire bridal party. Why? Because, there are two-thirds fewer divorces for those who get pre-marital coaching. That’s stacking the cards in your favor isn’t it?  Also, your friends and family will support you better if they also learn to keep love ALIVE. Just register at Congratulations and blessings!


Breaking Through the Romantic Fantasy Frenzy


He rides in on a white horse and sweeps her off to his castle where they live happily ever after. If you’re like most people, you probably buy into at least one of the common cultural myths such as everlasting passion and the eternally romantic notion of a ‘soul mate’.

Dr. John Demartini conducted this interview on matters of the heart and we’ve got it to share with you. Enjoy!

Q: We tend to have this fantasy that when we meet someone we should live happily ever after. Do you think this sets us up for disappointment?

These myths are perpetuated by stories, whether they are in childhood fairytales, popular movies or the idealized romances that live in your mind. If you continue to believe in any of these myths, you are living in a falsehood; they will run your life, shape your expectations and make you feel as if everyone else gets the fairytale but you.

There are a number of people who still believe the purpose of a romantic relationship is happiness. Relationships are about fulfillment, which is the blending of both positive and negative emotions and experiences. In the marriage vows we pledge to love for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, for better and for worse. These vows are not one-sided and neither should our perceptions be.

So if your idea of the perfect partner is more good than bad, I suggest you stop looking now. If you aspire to the movie “Pretty Woman” then you need a reality check. Quit expecting a lover to be constantly sexy, turned on, and available – never tired, irritable or disinterested. Try not to cling to the idea of the mythical spouse who’s only loyal, supportive and non-judgmental. The minute you start wishing for the perfect partner you’re living in a fantasy.

Years ago I had a wealthy client in New York who had written an exact list of the qualities of her ideal man. It ran like this: “I won’t date a man unless he has a minimum of $15 million, is at least 185.4cm tall, has brown hair and eyes, owns a large company, is socially prominent, has at least one beautiful house, loves the finest in everything, is utterly devoted to pampering me.” This went on and on. Her list was all positives without any negatives. She had a list that no human being could ever fulfill. She was looking for a Hollywood version of her fantasy, but what she kept attracting were men with no jobs or money who wanted her to support them. I received a call from her two years ago: “Dr. Demartini, is there any way you can come to Hawaii for my wedding? I’ve finally found my man!” I couldn’t make it, but in the back of my mind I was thinking that I had to meet this guy.

Sometime later, I was giving a seminar in California and bumped into her so I asked her, “how’s married life?” “Ahhh, he turned out to be another loser. Gotta go. Bye.” She didn’t want to talk about it. I suspect she found out the other side to her fantasy because every human has both positive and negative traits and love is embracing both sides. So the moral of the story? Replace fantasy with fulfillment.

Men have their fantasies too such as ‘she needs to look like the centre spread of Playboy and never grow old’. Hanging onto that dream will cost him love if he stays and money if he goes. If we live by impossible fantasies, we’ll experience extreme emotional swings, instead of balanced love. When fantasies fall apart, people tend to resent someone else for not making it come true. Yet they set themselves up for that disappointment right from the start by denying the negatives, exaggerating the positives and placing the other person on a pedestal. When you recognize that every human displays both positive and negative traits, you can say goodbye to all pedestals and start to enjoy the real joys of being in love.

Q: Can I expect my partner to change?

There’s a funny off-Broadway musical called I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Sound familiar? Have you ever thought you’d found the perfect mate and then spent the rest of life time trying to “fix” him or her? Futile, isn’t it? If you try to fix or change somebody they’ll just give you resistance, but if you honour and thank them for who they are, as they are, they will react in the opposite and give you assistance. Every human being just wants to be loved and appreciated for who they are.

Q: You often refer to the balance of support and challenge being healthy for a relationship. Explain.

The most successful relationships are ones that are balanced with support and challenge. We need this equilibrium of positive and negative in order to grow and evolve. It is crucial to understand that we all own and display all personality traits in equal quantities. Too often we expect our partner to be a one-sided being, but this leads to frustration, disappointment and withdrawal when your partner inevitably expresses the other side. It is wiser to ask the question “where do I have the trait I am judging my partner for” and “how does my partner expressing that trait benefit me in my day-to-day life”? As long as you answer; ‘I don’t have that trait and it doesn’t benefit me’, you will be caught. But as soon as you break through the limitation of your perception, you will assist your relationship to grow in maturity and mutual appreciation.

Q: To some Valentine’s Day is a cruel reminder of not having a partner. What would you say to all those who dread ‘V’ day?

It is a one-sided perception to think that a relationship will bring you happiness. Haven’t you ever got something you longed for (a new job or house) and instead of being happy you discover another set of crazies, a fresh set of challenges, unexpected problems? There are also negatives to being in a relationship. One of the greatest myths of all time is if I’m not involved with someone, I’ll be lonely. Have you ever been physically close to someone, even in bed with them, and felt a huge distance between you?

When you focus on yourself first, you can walk into a relationship empowered instead of being driven by a sense of need or desperation. A soul mate isn’t someone who gives you what you lack, but instead is a person who you can share your life and dreams with.

Q: What would you say to those people who feel that they are missing love in their life?

When you don’t understand human behavior you can miss the love that surrounds you 24/7. People show their love and appreciation in ways that reflect what is important to them. A father who has a high value on education will buy his child a book containing information sharing what he thinks is valuable to learn. When we give gifts to people don’t we give what we would most love to receive? So when you don’t honor the form of what someone thinks is important, you can miss the depth of love that is being shown to you every day.

Q: Can you give a last bit of advice to our readers?

Love yourself first. This does not mean that you need to build up your self-worth so you appear more attractive. For you to experience the affection that someone else has for you – warts and all, it is wise to cherish yourself fully. That means choosing to see yourself in 360 degrees with your unique expression of every character trait. When you embrace your dark and light, your supposed duality, then you are ready to experience unity. Remember, if you can’t love yourself and if you don’t value yourself then how can you expect someone else to?

HERE are the 10 most destructive relationship myths, adapted from The Heart of Love by Dr John Demartini. He says if you agree with any of the following statements, this generally indicates you are living a fantasy.

  1. A new relationship will make me happy
  2. When I find my soul mate I will feel complete
  3. The right relationship will last forever
  4. Once we get past these rough waters, it will be smooth sailing
  5. A good relationship requires sacrifice
  6. Great sex only happens at the beginning a relationship
  7. In the right relationship, I won’t have to work at it
  8. If I’m not involved with someone, I’ll be lonely
  9. Children complete a marriage
  10. Opposites attract

Dr. John Demartini is an international educator specializing in human behavior and social dynamics. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, author of over 40 books and creator of The Demartini Method™. For more information regarding Dr John Demartini, his live events and products, contact the Demartini Institute: or visit


Getting CLEAR™ in LOVE: 4 Steps to Communicating What You Need & Really Being Heard



‎”You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.

Tony Robbins: Speaker, Trainer, Coach

The decision about who you are right now, in this moment is the most powerful one you can ever make. And especially when things get tough. This decision will determine how to approach the one you love when a difficult conversation is needed, whether you choose to share the deeper feelings inside you – or keep them protected, and if you smile and make eye-contact as you cross paths. It’s the foundation for how you live your life. Think of the descriptive words you’d like others to use to describe you. Are you being those?

A friend once asked me: “What do you want on your grave stone? “I lived as safely as I could”? No. Not for me. And, I’m guessing, not for you.

On the easy days, love can carry us through almost anything. We look at each other and that blissful feeling takes the edge off the fact that the place is a mess. We seem to find the right words at the right time and, perhaps most importantly, with the right tone. We give more, we feel more confident; we’re heard, received and joyfully responded to. But what about the days that are more challenging – when you’re faced with the difficulties that come up in relationships and invite us to really think before we explode?

The question here is: How can you communicate what you need, and truly be heard? The answer is by practicing the skills of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This skill is vital to a fulfilling intimate relationship. EQ is the ability to make rational choices during emotional times. Emotions are included and taken into consideration, but they don’t get to lead. For example: you’re furious, he’s late again and you wish it didn’t matter, but it does. You have two options: you can allow your emotions to rule and ‘let him have it’ when he gets home or you can learn a new way to inspire a behavior shift by practicing these steps:

Step.1 – BREATHE. Remember counting to 10 as a child? Count to 10 and breathe. Slowly.

Step.2 – Take a moment and choose Who You Want to Be. Commit to bringing your best self.

Step.3 – Find something, anything, positive about him. The cute heart shaped mole on his shoulder or the way he eats spaghetti.

Step.4 – Wait. Wait until you know you are able to start your sentence with some positive i.e.: “Honey, I know you’re working really hard and that you’re doing your best.” Always begin with letting him know you know his intentions are positive. If you can’t do this, wait until you can.

Step.5 – Start with the positive. Let him know what’s working and be very sure that you mean it. No saying stuff just to get to the next part!

Step.6 – Make the request for what you want. “When you’re this late, I feel disappointed. I miss our time together. I start to wonder if you want to spend time with me. What I want is for us to find a way for you to arrive on time, or adjust the time.” Whatever is at the heart of the matter, go deep enough to find it and bring it to the surface. Initially it will feel vulnerable to do so, but it’ll get easier with time and practice!

Step.7 – End with appreciation: “Thank you for hearing this. I love you very much. I know we’ll find a way to work this out.”

I did not say this would be easy but it is worth it. It works for both men and women. Of course, you’ll speak from your heart. The good news is that most of us have positive intention behind our actions. We just mess up now and then. But when the best of us is seen, loved and appreciated we start to perform better. We’re more willing to hear the feedback  and we’re more willing (and likely) to change our behaviors, when we’re feeling understood and accepted. As with anything new, it takes practice. So enjoy the process, let go of any need to be perfect, and be willing to be messy.

Clara Chorley is a humanitarian with a passion, a speaker with a mission and an international entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Clarity Unlimited, and grew this business to over 6-figures in less than 14 months. Clara has traveled and worked across 3 continents and 37 countries, and has created specific strategies to help move people towards professional and personal life satisfaction.

Clara believes that people need to go deep within their own personal selves and Get CLEAR™ about who they are and what they really want. It is when we are clear that we can step up to affect global, local and social change for the good.

In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Clara Chorley has been a philanthropist and avid volunteer for over 15 years. She is the co-author of the book 15 Winning Ways to Better Living and has been featured in the documentary film “Achieve your Ultimate Success”. Clara has worked with companies as diverse as Fortune 500 company Ernst & Young in the USA; and humanitarian organization The Millennium Project (of The Earth Institute) in Rwanda, Africa. She is trained in Voice Dialogue and a member of National Speaker’s Association.

Please take a moment to email us at: with your feedback and questions. We’d like to know what was valuable and what you’d like to see more of.

Clara Chorley, CEO & Founder of Clarity Unlimited,, +1.415.592.0328

Communication, Relationships

5 Tips for Keeping Sane, Happy & Healthy While Planning Your Wedding

Amidst the hundreds of moving parts which need to come together for your wedding day, stress and tension are bound to creep into your life and relationships with your fiancé, family and friends. Dealing with financial issues and family dynamics while planning a major event with your partner can, at times, make you feel like you are inside of a pressure cooker—about to pop. However, if managed well, the stress involved in planning your wedding can be viewed as a positive challenge and can be used as a building block toward creating a solid foundation for your marriage. I’m here to offer some wisdom from the coaches at Joy of Romance, Inc. to keep the joy alive and the challenges at bay from engagement to honeymoon.

1)    Get and Stay Focused.

First things first, get organized from the beginning with a clear list of things that need to be done, budgets that need to be monitored and lists that need to be kept up to date. Choose from an array of online organizers, which include timetables, budget spreadsheets and checklists. The best know free wedding planning tools are by and By keeping these lists online, you will also be able to monitor the items that have been delegated to others. Schedule regular periods throughout the week to update your progress. Have a binder or a portable file folder with hard copies of the lists and any floating papers connected to the wedding.

If you can afford it, call in the experts to help plan and execute your dreams. Wedding planners are there to make sure on your wedding day you get to fully enjoy the beauty of being the bride. The fewer responsibilities you take on as the day approaches, the more fun you will be able to have. That being said, release the reigns and delegate whenever possible. Many friends and family want to help, so it’s a win-win. Let go and trust them with their part.

2)    Master Your Communication and Empathy Skills.

In the beginning, have a conversation and clarify what a wedding means to you and to your partner. Have you had a picture in mind since you were a kid about what your wedding would look like? What are the most important aspects of a wedding to you and your love? Does your vision and your fiancé’s vision blend well together? If not, work on coming to some mutual understanding and create a unified vision before involving anyone else in the planning.

Going forward don’t ask for input from others on topics that aren’t up for discussion. Once you have made up your minds on the key elements of the wedding, kindly convey what you’ve decided to your family and explain to them why it is important. Hopefully, they will see that you were not only thinking of yourselves but gave thought to both families with your decision.

Emily Post recently gave some good advice when she spoke at a conference of wedding planners, she encouraged engaged couples to “openly entertain any idea for five minutes” without judging it. Find out why it’s important to the individual suggesting it. Appreciate their input and when it’s not one of you and your fiancé’s non-flexible points, let them know you will consider their idea. Letting others be involved in the process makes them feel needed and important, thus building good will amongst family members and friends.

Emotions run high around weddings. When there is a sticky subject, always let the individual’s whose family is involved approach their family first without bringing their partner along for the discussion. Recognize when a subject becomes a big deal for a family member, there are often deeper needs and feelings triggering their resistance. It is worth asking them why it matters to them. If you don’t think they feel comfortable or are able to voice their feelings, you might want to provide possible reasons and see if they agree. Once their true feelings and needs are on the table, it becomes easier to make sure their overarching needs are being addressed.

3)    Building Bridges and a Strong Foundation.

A lot of wedding planning advice states, “this is your wedding and you should have it the way you want it.” In fact, if you truly feel that way, it might be best to elope. Weddings are about bringing together two families and many friends to celebrate your love for one another. There are a lot of bridges that can be built during this process if you keep this viewpoint in mind. You have an opportunity to set the stage and create close alliances between your families. Use this precious time wisely.

As a couple, planning your wedding is also an excellent way for you to learn how to work together harmoniously, deal with conflicts proactively, and create a road map for how you will treat one another henceforth when bumps in the road arise. Make sure to avoid any statements or actions that are disrespectful of one another or your relationship. Have the courage to bring any and all significant concerns to the table. This might be a good time to do some relationship counseling, like our coaching package called Rules of Engagement Training to learn each other’s relationship and communication patterns.

4)    Toss Perfection Out the Window.

Often too much weight is put upon the actual wedding day needing to be perfect. From the onset of planning, talk to your partner about what matters most and keep that end goal in the forefront of your minds. Keep it fun, choose to see the challenges as opportunities to grow closer together and strengthen your relationship and enjoy seeing your families come together to celebrate your new life as husband and wife.

Have realistic expectations and know things will not go exactly as planned. There is much to be said for having a point person you trust who will remain calm during the “storm” on the day of your wedding and will be responsible for crisis management so you don’t have to hear about potential problems. Remember some of your fondest memories might actually come from the unexpected twists of fate that might occur that day. Choose to let go of anything that isn’t going “as planned” and stay focused on celebrating your love.

5)    Know Your Limits and Schedule Romance.

Be aware of the signs of excess stress, like irritability, fatigue, trouble sleeping, stomach issues and headaches. If you begin feeling overwhelmed or stressed, schedule some quality time to take care of yourself. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. Keep up with the basics: eat healthy, drink plenty of water, exercise, avoid excess caffeine, alcohol and sweets, and get good sleep. Do a little extra pampering when tension is high. Go watch the sunset, get your nails done, do some meditating or schedule a massage.

Create love rituals. Start by discovering what you and your partner’s love languages are. Feel free to email me at Joy of Romance to get a short quiz or read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” to learn which are your top two languages. The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gifts and physical touch. It’s important to know both of your love languages because that is the most effective and efficient way you and your partner should be expressing your love to one another. As a couple, it’s important to incorporate those ways of giving love in order to feel truly loved and appreciated.

On top of designing rituals around your love languages, it’s fun to incorporate doing the simple things that are good for both of you and will help you build a healthy life together. You can keep the stress levels down by exercising together, taking turns giving each other massages, grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals together, walking after dinner, stretching and learning how to dance together, if you don’t already know how. By having a healthy set of love rituals in place now, it will be easier to keep them up once you are married.

Hopefully utilizing these tips will help keep you sane, healthy and happy during your wedding planning!

Joy M. Nordenstrom is founder of Joy of Romance, Inc., a certified matchmaker, relationship coach, wedding proposal planner and special romantic event and vacation planner. Joy emphasizes making relationship maintenance fun, sexy and intelligent by educating individuals on a practical, scientific and passionate-based approach to maintaining their romantic relationships.

Joy received an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and a BA in both Communications and Economics, with a minor in Psychology. All degrees are from Mills College in Oakland. Joy is a certified matchmaker from the Matchmaking and Behavioral Science Institute in New York City.

Joy coaches internationally via Skype and in-person locally in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a new mother and lives with her fiancé and their son in Sausalito.

To learn more, visit, follow @joyofromance on Twitter, become a fan at Joy of Romance fan page on Facebook, subscribe to the vodcast Intelligent Love: 411 for Men on iTunes and/or email directly at

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San Francisco, CA 94123