September 28, 2011

{Thank You!}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
There simply cannot be too many thank-yous spoken in the world. (Nor too many hearts full of love!) Many people assisted you in getting to your wedding day...keep the generosity and gratitude going. Say “thank you” to the first and last person you see today—and everyone in-between—and really mean it.

Notice how a little from-the-heart “thank you” lights people up. In fact, make it your job to light people up today. “Thank you!”—it feels great. And you’re the one who just might get the biggest reward.

“Gratitude is what returns us to love,” writer Lisa Clapier reminds us, and love is abundantly endless. You won’t run out—just keep giving it away!

Have your wedding be remembered for the gifts everyone else takes home—your love and gratitude.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Brian Wagner]

September 21, 2011

{Time Is Breath}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Planning a wedding is a busy time – whether you’re doing it all by yourself or in partnership with your mother, sister, friends or fiancĂ©. Everything gets amplified during wedding planning; your to-do list keeps growing and there just never seems to be enough time

So do you want to know the secret to having more time? Slow down and breathe!

The more stressed you are, the tighter your body gets, the more shallow your breathing becomes – and it appears that there is not enough space or time. And the tension cycle continues! So the pleasure of planning your wedding suffers – and perhaps some of your relationships suffer as well – and your overall health and happiness pay a heavy price.

There are lots of great tips out there from relaxation experts and meditation gurus to help you learn how to slow down, be more attentive and take deeper, fuller, longer more relaxing – even healing – breaths. (See a suggestion below.) But right this moment, as you’re reading, do this:
Inhale through your nose slowly, deeply, softly, gently and hold; what do you notice? Release your breath, exhaling through your nose slowly, deeply, softly, gently and hold; what do you notice?

As you go about your day, keep noticing your breath and if you feel you’re holding it when you’re tense or taking shallow breaths, do the little exercise. Just by putting attention on your breath, you’ll take deeper ones – which also takes better care of you.

Then just notice if your relationship to time has changed – and even if it seems you have more of it! (Breath and time!)

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: “Time is breath” is a quote from Russian teacher G.I. Gurdjieff as cited by Dennis Lewis in his wonderful book Free Your Breath, Free Your Life. Thanks to Dennis for inspiring this post!

[Photograph: Julie Mikos]

September 14, 2011

{Heart-Full of Rituals}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
What’s a wedding without some sort of ceremony, and what’s a ceremony without a ritual or two, and what’s a ritual without a bit of mystery? The rituals of wedding ceremonies—such as exchanging rings, repeating vows, dressing in special clothes, sharing a big cake—are all intended as outer expressions of your inner transformation. Subtle changes that are close to your heart. Rituals act as guideposts on this rather mysterious transformational journey called being a bride, this womanly rite-of-passage.

In my book, The Bride’s Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself, I share the most feminine of wedding rituals that are inspired by the charming wedding rhyme: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for your shoe. Don’t miss connecting with other women with these essentially “being a woman” rituals and gestures that hold a bit of that feminine mystery.

What rituals are you using for your wedding? Give them special attention like wise gifts from the past and see how their magic goes deep into your heart.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Priscilla Wannamaker]

September 7, 2011

{True Love-Knots}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Here’s a romantic “something blue” idea! Make a “Love Knot Bow” to wear pinned to your wedding day lingerie out of narrow blue ribbons: tiny loops with knotted streamers called “true-love knots.” There is an ancient legend that the Danish phrase meaning “I plight thee my troth”—used in early wedding vows—was the origin of the expression “true-love knots.” As far as legends go, one might say that “true love” is untying all the knots to your lover’s heart!

And just a little reminder. If your love is indeed true, then it comes with a heart full of forgiveness. Love can get “tangled” at times, but as wise voices tell us: When we learn how to forgive, then we learn how to love.

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

ps: this is an excerpt from my book, The Bride's Ritual Guide: Look Inside to Find Yourself.

[Photograph: Lacour Photography]