Love Is a Thought, Not Just a Feeling

This month, we're talking all about love. Love is the highest vibration emotion; there's nothing that feels quite like it.

We're going to talk about all kinds of love: love in our parenting, our marriages, our relationships, and with ourselves. But I want to start out today with an idea about love that will change your perception of it.

In this episode, we're talking about why love isn't just a feeling. We will talk about how to choose loving thoughts that will then create loving feelings and actions. And I will share a couple of exercises with you – one for your journal, and one that's a meditation – that will help you practice building your love muscles. 

Show yourself some extra love – sign up for the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat! Spend 5 days with amazing women like you, letting go of stress and finding greater energy, clarity, and vision for your life. Join us!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why love isn't just something that happens to us. 
  • Why we can't love others fully until we love ourselves. 
  • How we can generate feelings of love with our thoughts.
  • What to ask yourself about your thoughts about your partner.
  • Why I started keeping a journal of thoughts I had about my partner and thoughts I wanted to have instead.
  • Why you have to examine your thoughts if you want to change the result you're getting in a relationship.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode #208. We’re talking all about love and connection. Stay tuned.

Hi, I’m Jen Riday, and this podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You’ll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don’t rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast.

Hey, my friends. I just came back from the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat a little bit ago. I guess by the time this airs it will be a couple of weeks. Oh, my gosh. I had such a good time. You know when you meet women who you just love, and connect with, and feel like they're your best friends, and we're always meant to be? That's how I feel about the retreat.

People say, “Wow, Jen. How do you bring all these amazing women together?” I think, “I have no idea, but I'm so glad to get to be a part of it.” Such a good time. Well, the retreat enrollment for 2021 is open. Go grab your spot while you still can. We have limited spots based on the space available to us there. It is so much fun, and that is at JenRiday.com/retreat. Go get your spot.

Well, I want to talk about reviews. I have been grateful for the reviews you've been leaving on iTunes on Apple podcasts. If you haven't yet, you can do it at Jenriday.com/itunes. I wanted to read two of those. One of those is from someone who calls herself Thinking Right. She said, “I love, love, love this podcast. So uplifting, inspirational, and light. Jen keeps it real, and that's what makes it fun for me to listen to.” I love that. Thank you for leaving that review, made my day.

Another one from Ann Jambor who was in my Heal Your Heart Program. She said, “What? I haven't left a review yet for Jen's podcast? This podcast is a necessary balm for all women, but especially anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed with over giving to their spouses, children, careers, and daily to-do lists.” Thank you, Ann, for leaving that.

Ann goes on to explain that she quit her job after being a part of the Vibrant Happy Women World and became a health coach, and she's rocking it. I love when people take what they've learned here in the podcast, and in my programs, and in the club, and decide, “Hey, I can change my life,” and then they go and do that.

I want to let all of you listening know that this is why I'm here. You can change your life. I'll never forget that moment when I had that miscarriage that day back in, I don't know when, some year. I said, “Hey, I've been miserable.” I thought this in my mind, “What have I been doing?” That's the day I said, “I'm going to be happy no matter what.”

If that resonates for you, I want to challenge you to do the same. Today makes the first day of you saying, “I'm going to be happy no matter what,” and I'm so glad that this podcast is part of that journey for you. Join us at the retreat. Join us in the Vibrant Happy Women Club.

All of it helps because you are learning to change your thoughts about yourself, your thoughts about other people. When you change your thoughts, you'll get an entirely new result. You just have to start changing that neurology in your brain, and you have 100% power just like Ann Jambor is doing.

All right. Today, we are talking about love and connection. This is the theme for the next several episodes. The theme of love, connection, and relationships. Now, last month, we talked all about self-love, healing our own hearts. We talked about boundaries. We talked about self-compassion and intuition. That is all super important.

We cannot love other people until we first love ourselves. This is a never-ending journey, but oh, my gosh, I have so much more respect and love for myself than I used to a decade ago. In response to that, I am so much more in love with my spouse, and my kids, and my friends, and my parents. I'm way more equipped to love others. I know that's really true.

So, throughout the next several episodes, we're going to be talking about love, and connection, and positive parenting, building a better marriage, and how to heal any relationship. Thinking about those relationships where you're not sure you're going to stay in that relationship, where you want to cut ties. Maybe you want to do something really drastic. Stick around over the next few weeks. We're going to learn amazing tools to help with that.

Okay. Let's talk about love. Many of us in the world believe that love is something that happens to us, that we either feel it or we don't feel it. I want to talk about the fact that that's a lie today. Love is an action. Love is a feeling that is generated by our thoughts. That means we can love anybody.

If there's a person you automatically feel like you love or you've fallen in love with them, it's probably because you have enamored thoughts about them. You're enamored with them. You think, “Oh, my gosh. He's so handsome. I love him.” Or you think, “Oh, he's so much fun. He's going to be such a good dad. Look how he's playing with those kids. Oh, my gosh. I love him.”

You see how this works. Your thoughts about them generate the feeling. When you have a feeling of love, your actions are probably connective, and the result is you have a close relationship. Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings drive our actions, actions generate a result.

So, thinking about those most important relationships in your life. Maybe it's your marriage, your relationship with your kids, your relationships with your mom or your dad, with your best friend, with your co-workers. It all backs up to looking at your thoughts. Think about that now. What are your thoughts about your partner?

Now, you probably know I used to have pretty terrible thoughts about my partner. He's a bit on the autism spectrum. A little bit quirky, a little bit different, and I didn't understand that when we first married. So, my initial thoughts in the relationship were, “He is very insensitive. He doesn't care how I feel. When I feel sad, he leaves the room. He has no clue how to give me a hug when he's sad. What a monster.”

Those thoughts generated feelings of hatred, essentially, total resentment and frustration. Then what do you think happened as a result of those feelings? I avoided him. I criticized him. I rolled my eyes at him. I had contempt for him. The result, our marriage was unhappy. Now, a lot of you are pausing right now to say, “But that means we are responsible for everything.” Oh, yes, my friends. Yes, we are.

We are responsible for how we feel and how we think about our partners. We can choose any thoughts, which will therefore generate an emotion we want to have about them. Those of you who have a pet. We have two cats living in our garage. Mittens and Felix Garfield. We call them Midnight and Felix. We really like them. One of them went missing. We’re glad to say we found him in the neighbor's tree.

Those cats don't have to do anything for us to love them. We just choose to love them because we have all of these adorable thoughts about the cats which generate our feelings of love and connection. The result is we really like the cats.

The cats don't have to unload the dishwasher. They don't have to hug us in just the right way and say just the right words when we're sad, which is what I wanted my husband to do for years. They don't have to do anything. We just love them. I want you to know that you can choose to feel the same way about your partner, your kids, your mom and dad, your friends, your co-workers, as you do about your pets.

You can have the thought that they don't need to do anything. I just love them because they're so cute. I love them because they're breathing in that funny way just like the cat’s purr. I love them because, “Oh, look, that quirky way he laughs. Oh, that's so cute.” We can think those thoughts, and wow, that one change alone will change the relationship. That's exactly how I changed my marriage — when I chose to start being happy back during the miscarriage. I'm going to be happy no matter what. I started with boundaries. I went to yoga. By the way, boundaries are there to preserve our time, energy, and happiness. Going to yoga, I found, generated more energy, generated more calm and happiness. It gave me the feelings I wanted.

So, I put up a boundary and said, “I'm going to yoga no matter what. Here's when I'm going.” I let go of the consequence that the kids might not be in bed on time, or the house may not be clean. Taking that first step to value and prioritize my happiness and love myself then allowed me to start to change how I felt and started to change how I acted in those relationships, and the results started to change.

Then, as I felt better, I started to have more ability to look at my thoughts and start to change those. “Oh, I'm going to start to practice thinking a positive thought about my husband.” For a year, I think, I kept a journal. Well, I doubt it was every day for a year, but it was for a long time.

When I first began to write in that journal, I struggled. “He is breathing. He went to work today. He said hi to me.” That's how negative it was when I started, but the practice of looking, of telling my brain, “Oh, we're looking for the good things now. We're looking for positive thoughts.” You can guess what happened. As I started to think more positively, I felt more love toward him. The result? Actually, the action was that I interacted with him more positively, and the result was slowly but surely a closer relationship.

I remember during that time when I was looking for the positives. One day, he made a salad dressing, well, somewhere in that time, and that salad dressing was freaking amazing. It reminded me of the dressing I had had when I was living in Germany. I said, “Oh, my gosh. This is so good.” He said, “Yeah, I just remembered eating this as a kid [he grew up in Switzerland] and I thought I'd recreate it.”

He made it up himself. By the way, it's just olive oil, light olive oil, not the dark kind, the lighter flavored olive oil and plain, white vinegar, and salt, and garlic. Totally crushed up garlic. Actually, he minces the garlic on a miniature grater, a microplane grater. That's it. His little combo is delish.

Because I complimented him, I took the action of being positive with him, that dressing was on the table every day for the next week, and he has never stopped making it ever since. Isn’t that amazing? The result was because I was positive toward him, he felt good, and he then started to take a new action of trying to please me in this one way, which generated a great result.

Now, I think I've said on this podcast before that physical intimacy is something my husband and I have figured out, but it wasn't always that way. When we were first married, I'm not going to give details, but it was like, “Hm.” Slowly, he saw me feeling excited about certain actions and less so about other actions, and he got in tune with what I like. Long story short, we have a great sex life together. If your kids are listening, sorry, but I think it's healthy that they know that's a thing, and maybe they want to aim for that one day as well.

The point being, I had positive interactions with him where he could tell I was pleased. He likes to please me. He repeated that action, and the result is great physical intimacy. The same thing can happen in all of our relationships, and that's why we're talking about love and connection all month on the podcast and in the Vibrant Happy Women Club.

Thinking about all these people, if you want to change the result in the relationships, you must come back and look at your thoughts. What are your thoughts about your mom? If you're like me, maybe your thoughts have been, “Oh, she's a bit negative. She is a bit critical. She struggles with depression.” If I primarily focus on those thoughts, how do you think I feel about her? A little meh. If I feel meh, what is the action I will take? I'm kind of standoffish and withdrawn. The result? The relationship isn't close.

So, I have to look at those thoughts and choose consciously the thoughts that will change that result. My mom is really fun. She is an awesome grandma. She cooks great food when we come. When you start focusing on those things, those thoughts generate different feelings, feelings of connection, love, positivity, warmth.

When you feel those feelings, you will take a different action. Like, “Hey, you want to play a game? Shall we play this game? Hey, you're really fun, mom. I like that you're fun. Oh, look, we're playing a game.” The result? We're closer. You have 100% power in every relationship you're in.

So, marriage, do the same thing. Relationships with your kids, look at your thoughts. How are those thoughts generating feelings, which drive an action, which lead to the result of the relationship? We're going to be talking about all this and more all month.

Love and connection feel amazing. We all crave them from birth. It's part of our survival instinct to love and connect. It's the highest vibration emotion. It feels juicy. Think of the last time you felt really connected and in love with other people. For me, it was at the retreat, hands-down. We had a morning where we did a full hour of talking about love. We talked about oxytocin, how oxytocin, the love hormone, is generated through our thoughts, and through eye gazing, and through touch, and it's amazing.

So, we went around and looked in each other's eyes, and we hugged each other, and by the end of our hour together, it was just a big giant oxytocin filled love fest. I love all of you women who were at the retreat. I love you. I love you. I love you. My body still remembers just how much love was in that room.

We also, at the retreat, did a really cool meditation called the Love Meditation. Several people came up to me afterwards and said, “Jen, have you recorded that because I want to buy that? I want that.” Well, I have, since the retreat, come home and recorded that for you. It is not for sale. I'm going to give it to you.

Okay. It's beautiful. It's amazing. It's an exercise where you practice the art of generating feelings of love for yourself, for other people, for your loved ones, and then we expand it to cover the whole planet. It sounds totally woo-woo, but what I guarantee that this meditation will do for you is generate that highest vibration, emotion of love and connection, which feels oh, so good.

If you can generate that frequently, you're going to interact, take actions with your loved ones that are from a higher vibration place, and get a better result. So, if you find yourself feeling frustrated with your spouse, or your teen, or your mom, or your co-worker, you can plug in the love meditation and generate the feelings you want that will drive a different action. Isn't that crazy?

Anyway, you can get that at JenRiday.com/lovemeditation. JenRiday.com/lovemeditation, all one word. That’s my gift to you. As you do that meditation, I want you to know that I love you. I see you. I know you're trying so hard to be a good person, to be patient, to be fun, to be positive, to be loving, and this is a great tool to help you tap into that. So, get that for free. It's my gift to you. Jenriday.com/lovemeditation, all one word.

In this episode, we've talked about how love is a choice generated by our thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts. Also, you can generate feelings of love through actions like eye gazing, gratitude, hugs, and touching. Of course, we have this meditation that I'm giving you to help you with that.

If you want to take your love and connection to the next level and learn even more tools, we're going to be learning some nuance tools to help you develop love and connection in the Vibrant Happy Women Club all month. We're going to be talking about the legacy, the love legacy you want to leave, and what does that look like?

We're going be talking about boundaries, how to deal with toxic people, how to identify toxicity and what to do about it, how to listen, and mirror, and use that eye gazing to increase the love you have in a relationship with other people. We're going to talk about relationship blueprints where you can identify the expectations you've had in relationships based on social norms or family norms, and change those to generate the feelings you want to have in those relationships.

We'll be talking about emotional detox work, emotional intimacy. How to build it even when you haven't been able to in the past. We'll be talking about sex, masculine and feminine energy, the dialogue process, so you can learn how to have that difficult conversation, and hear your partner and be heard by your partner or whoever you're talking to. We're going to talk about the five languages of apology. So many nuggets of wisdom. So many great tools that will help you have way more love and connection in your relationships.

That's all in the club just $47 a month. You can try it out, see if it's for you. We would love to have you. If you want closer relationships, this is going to be a good month ahead. You can join us in the club anytime at Jenriday.com/join.

Well, my friends, this is going to be a great month. I am so glad you're here listening, and I love you. Thanks for being here. I will see you again soon. Until then, make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at JenRiday.com/join.

 

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