Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Divine Dating


A Five-fold Path for Divine Dating in the 21st Century

Published in New York Spirit Magazine, Summer 2010

By LiYana Silver

Have you ever wondered if dating is a modern form of torture, an iron maiden slowly squeezing the last breaths from our hopeful hearts? Is the dating pool a mass of muck and mire to be paddled through in hopes of reaching the far-off shores of our ideal relationship? Or could dating be a transcendent experience, a meeting of gods and goddesses in shining, soul-opening moments over cocktails? Could dating be divine? I consulted four other relationship experts who offered some heavenly answers to these worldly questions and revealed a five-fold path that can illuminates our way.

Dating. It ain't what it used to be. The entire rulebook of courtship seems to have changed. The hows, wheres, whens, whats and whys barely even resemble those of our parents or grandparents. The internet is just over a generation old, drastically influencing how and where we meet people. How do you know when is the right time to call, to have sex, to stop dating other people? What we do on dates – and why – is also open for interpretation; are you looking for a soul-mate, life-partner, mother-of-your-children or a no-strings-fling?

If my ten years of private practice as a relationship coach have made anything clear, it's that relationships are truly complex. However, the recipe for lasting love calls for five vital ingredients, and four other expert dating coaches echo my findings. So, what are these five ingredients; what is this five-fold path we help our clients walk, amble and saunter along? It's a concept, an acronym and a memorable verb; and it's what most of us wish we could do on yet another agonizing date: A.S.C.E.N.D. A is for Appreciation; S for Self-awareness and Self-care; C for Communication, E for Ending the war of the sexes, N for Negotiation; and D for Divine dating.

But let's start with what we would like so much to ASCEND from shall we? Why is dating such a misery, a drudgery and an ongoing opportunity for dashed hopes and painful rejection? Mama Gena, Queen of Pleasure, and founder and facilitator of the Womanly Arts Mastery Program, and author of Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts says it's due in part to our abundant expectations, as well as our baggage and past disappointments that we haul around with us from date to date. Our poor partner has to attempt to overcome our history of unmet expectations, hurt feelings and broken heartedness in only a few short hours.

Jordan Harbinger is a dating coach and teacher with The Art of Charm, which offers men primarily the skills of natural charisma, body language, presence and being their authentic selves without apology. He points to our – and especially men's – prideful egos as one of the main pitfalls to pleasurable dating. With our attention on how the other person is perceiving and judging us, and how and if we are measuring up, there's little room left to be present with our date. Add to that our fear and shame about admitting we've got a lot to learn about dating, relationship and social dynamics. We feel like we should already know how to be great on a date, amazing lovers and fantastic communicators. We truly need that relationship education that almost none of us actually got.

In addition, dating and mating rituals are far from clearly defined. Is he supposed to call on Wednesday for a date on Saturday? Is she supposed to text midday and demand a steamy meeting later in the evening? Reid Mahalko is a bi-coastal sex educator and coach for relationship self-esteem and sexual self-confidence. He chimes in, reminding us that although we often manage to find decent people – which used to be reason enough for our parents and grandparents to make a lifelong marriage work – that is no longer enough. We need to learn to, as Reid puts it, "date our species." We expect more out of our relationships than ever before; sure our date needs to be a decent person, but we also expect to meet our emotional, intellectual, financial, familial spiritual, social and sexual match as well.
Hollywood's leading love and relationship expert Lauren Frances, who counsels A-list celebrities and mentors women around the globe in creating what she calls "legendary love affairs," adds that the fundamental underlying obstacle to enjoyable dating is our lack of clear intention. Why are we dating, to what end? What do we want to get out of courtship? Until somewhat recently, dating was a means to the endpoint of marriage, which created a lot of psychological safety.

Many of the women I work with experience what I call "Groundhog-Day Dating." Like Bill Murray in the 1993 movie who awoke day after day destined to repeat the same painful patterns, so it is for many of us in dating. We inherit these relationship ruts from our families of origins and our culture. We are often perplexed that our hard work and good will does nothing to shift our attraction to the "wrong" person over and over again. We KNOW what to do, but we don't.

So, now that we know how and why dating sucks so bad, how do we start to have a blast instead? We A.S.C.E.N.D.

Starting with Appreciation is key. Deceptively simple and often overlooked, appreciation in and of itself it doesn't always solve complex issues or turn the date around, but it paves the way. And without it, the date – and likely the rest of the relationship – is headed downhill. Appreciation is afoot when you relish the experience of the date itself, approve of your own self, and acknowledge the human being you're on the date with – even if not the right man or woman for you. "The more you honor your own journey and appreciate every step you took, the more you will draw toward you the best experiences," says Mama Gena.

The second step of the five-fold path is Self-awareness. Get on intimate terms with what you want, what makes you happy, what thrills you, your deal-breakers, the things you can't stand and even those things you think you don't deserve but secretly hope for. Knowing want you want is sexy. Get really clear who and what "your species" is – as Reid Mihalko instructs – so you can see if you are on a date with them! This second step also includes Self-care. The date starts before the date; the more you invest in making yourself delicious, the more you both will enjoy yourselves. Mind follows body and body follows mind.

The third ingredient in your delicious dating recipe is Communication: words to sweetly break the ice, to gracefully extract yourself from an uncomfortable date, to get you started appreciating the human being you're with. Be kind, be interested in this person. Rather than judgments, focus on finding commonalities and connecting on an emotional level.

Fourthly, E is for Ending the war of the sexes. In case you didn't notice, there is a sea of misunderstanding separating us from true partnership. When we know men and women truly want (nope, not just to get in her pants or to get at his credit card), we can actually begin to have a sweet dating experience. In our heart of hearts, women want most to be seen, to receive enlivening attention, and to be noticed afresh each moment. See her, hear her, notice her, for real. Guys want to be appreciated, respected and supported in their purpose. As a teacher of mine once said, "Be happy and blame it on him."

Lauren Frances reminds us of the fifth step, Negotiation. Dates, she says, especially first ones are mainly for "romantic research and checking for compatibility coordinates. If you are marriage-minded, ask your date if he or she believes in marriage – and listen very carefully to the answer. If he or she balks, you've done a great job of uncovering a serious relationship incompatibility. You WANT to scare the wrong suitors off! Harmony in relationships comes from an alignment of "mutual romantic intention.'" I always say it's more a question of sorting through all our options than desperately hoping for this one to be The One. They can be a truly great person, but not a right fit for you. If you are not clear where you are going, it's hard to get there.

The sixth ingredient is D for Divine Dating, where all these five steps have been leading. To turn an ordinary dating experience into a transcendent one, begin with no expectations, while holding strongly what you deeply desire. Stay present; feeling seen, heard and truly appreciated are the things of falling in love as well as lasting love. Continue to not taking anything personally, especially on first encounters. Make sure to make the date somehow meaningful, so none of your time spent with another person is ever wasted time. Although you may want a coach to help access it, remember that you have all you need inside. Although you may need a course to remind you, notice that on the other side of your insecurities is the truth of your magnificence.

Not every date will result in a happy ending, but each can be an affirmation that you are showing up for your love life fully and you are taking the right actions. Become more committed to your divine dating experience than feeling bad about your failures. Develop a point of view about your partner that is loving, even if he or she isn't a fit for your relationship intentions. Who you are in every moment – including swapping stories over margaritas – is who you are in life and in love. Says Mama Gena, "We are each responsible for bringing the recognition of our own divinity, which allows us to see it in the other."

LiYana Silver, Relationship Expert and regular contributor to New York Spirit, is known for her bold, fresh guidance for women and their partners, who want to ASCEND out of painful patterns and relationship ruts and into partnerships that are strong, sexy, sane and sustainable in the 21st Century. For belief re-patterning, coaching, Change Your Relationship Destiny and Reclaim Your Radiance courses, and to make the complex actionable and the perplexing pleasurable, visit her website:

• For Mama Gena's Womanly Arts Mastery Arts program and upcoming Pleasure Bootcamp:

• For Jordan Harbinger, his team of coaches and Attraction Arts weeklong programs for men in NYC in June 2010:

• For Reid Mihalko's downloadable products on sex and relationship as well as coaching:

• For Lauren Frances' Romantic Reboot tele-classes, Online Profile writing seminars, free Manhandling PodCasts, and amazing Man Magnet Makeover Seminars in NYC in June:

AND …. don't forget to leave a comment! What's your experience with dating in the 21st Century? Divine? Dumb? Desperate? Delicious?

Share this page with your friends!
Posted by LiYana at 8:47 pm  Comments Off on Divine Dating

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Is Lasting Love Humanly Possible?

You might not suspect this about me, being a relationship expert and coach and all, but it's important stuff to know:

I truly messed up every single relationship before the one I am in now. Really. Lying, cheating, shaming, blaming, getting bored – I did it just about every way but right.

Over the years, I started asking, is it me? Is it them? Why was I so stuck in a rut, destined to painful, short-lived relationships?

Fast forward 10 years, and I've learned a thing or two – or actually three – that I've gathered together in one workshop.

If you could turn the dial of your certainty in lasting love, would you turn it?

If there was a formula for shifting painful patterns, elegantly and respectfully, would you want to experience it?

If there were three keys that could completely change your relationship destiny, would you want them placed in the palm of your hand?

If you are in San Diego on Sunday, June 13th, my colleague Matthew Blom and I will be joyously offering you all that – and more!

Change Your Relationship Destiny
The Three Keys to Lasting Love

Sunday, June 13, 2010
12:00 – 6:00pm
San Diego area, CA

(For both women and men, in partnership or out)

What's in store for you?

Read below and/or watch the video:

You will experience:

* How painful patterns are formed, and the three keys for shifting them (right at the workshop!)

* The #1 element, without which all relationships fizzle, but with which they thrive

* How to be seen, heard and appreciated by your partner – and maintain that on-goingly

* That some of your problems may not actually belong to you!

* Knowing that lasting love is humanly possible!

* How to communicate in ways that bring you closer, rather than dig you deeper into conflict

* Experience the formula for untangling painful patterns, updating your emotional inheritance & creating lasting change

Space is extremely limited – there are only 28 spaces.

So do act quickly!

These are the three keys that allowed me to create the relationship I am in now – seven years strong and sizzling, with our marriage in a couple months!

These are the three keys that allow me to communicate with grace and ease, to deeply appreciate my partner and myself – and to course-correct when I get challenged.

These are the three keys that give me the certainty that lasting love is, absolutely, humanly possible.

That link again, to claim your space and Change Your Relationship Destiny:

I look forward to seeing you there,


Posted by LiYana at 10:57 am  Comments Off on Is Lasting Love Humanly Possible?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Steps for a good relationship: installing love


I am thrilled to share with you this very insightful piece on:

Instructions for Installing Love on the Human Computer.



Tech Support: Yes, how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running?

Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

Customer: I don't know how to. Can you tell me how?

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error – Program not run on external components." What should I do?

Tech Support: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running.

One more thing before we hang up.

Love is Freeware.

Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

Customer: Thank you, God.

CREATOR, aka, Tech Support: You're Welcome, Anytime.

(YOU: Don't forget to leave a comment!)

Posted by LiYana at 1:44 pm  Comments Off on Steps for a good relationship: installing love

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Women Own All The Vaginas

Next week, I'm interviewing a guy who literally wrote the book on Why Men Do What They Do.  Seriously, he wrote a book called Women Own All the Vaginas: Why Men Do What They Do.

If that book title didn’t singe some hairs off your raised eyebrows, then I don’t know what!

Are you as curious as I am to get the inside scoop from Richard Nocera, hairdresser, businessman, author and educator?

Women, men – this is not to miss!

Interview with Richard Nocera, author of Women Own All the Vaginas

Free tele-class interview
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
5:30pm Pacific time; 8:30pm Eastern time

To hold your spot and register for this fr*ee interview, use
this link:

I’ll get Richard expounding on:

* Why men life, distort and avoid true feelings

* Why men cannot keep a lifelong pledge of 100% monogamy

* Why heterosexual men need to come out of the closet and talk about how they actually experience their sexuality

* 29 uniquely interwoven characteristics that make a man a man

* Healing your past and becoming sexually honest

* Men have no Oprah!

* And you’ll be able to take the quiz and find out “What type of man you are.”

Mr. Nocera’s forty years of experience – owning and operating a chain of hair salons located in Boston’s exclusive western suburbs – has given him unique insight into human nature.

As a confidant, he listened carefully while both men and women talked about their mates, their desires, their vulnerabilities, their disappointments, and their secrets. His personal life experiences, coupled with 25 years he spent in therapy, propelled him to write his book, Women Own All the Vaginas: Why Men Do What They Do.

I’m delighted to be interviewing him next week!

That link again to hold your spot and register for this fr*ee interview:

This is gonna be a live one! I hope you'll be there.

And if you have thoughts on Why Men Do What They Do – or if women really own all the vaginas, leave a comment!
Best, LiYana

Posted by LiYana at 10:19 pm  Comments Off on Women Own All The Vaginas

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