Except for a few short term bursts of relationship, I’ve been mostly single for two years after twelve years of marriage ended in divorce, and jeez, things have changed in my dating process since last time I was single. My old list of “What I Want in a Partner” has mostly dissolved. Gone are the “wears boxers,” “likes green,” “great legs,” “enjoys hiking and skiing,” and “financially secure” items on my wish list. I’ve had to add some terms I hadn’t thought it necessary to add when I was younger, like “Not gay, married, living internationally with no chance of a visa, or expecting me to conceive another child.” Having attracted every variety of unavailable man, I’m realizing I need to get specific. “No prison inmates, polygamists, or monks, please!” And living in Marin County, I’m also realizing that I need to qualify that, while I don’t judge anyone who chooses such a lifestyle and I can certainly see the appeal of it, polyamory isn’t my cup ‘o’ tea. Been there. Tried that. It just doesn’t feel safe or stable to me, and it’s a lot of emotional work. Perhaps I’m just not enlightened enough, but my polyamory experiment left me concluding that my heart is just too tender and needs the gentle nest of what I’ll call “open monogamy” in order to open up all the way to the levels of intimacy I desire and am capable of giving.
Time, marriage, and maturity have definitely shifted my priorities. But the most radically paradigm-shifting change is this big fat realization.
I am only interested in a relationship with someone as committed to the spiritual path as I am.
There. I said it out loud, and you can hold me to it.
Just before Thanksgiving, I met with my photographer friend Monique Feil, who is responsible for taking pretty much any great photo you’ve ever seen of me on my blog, book covers, or hanging in my home. Hay House needed a photo of me for the cover of my upcoming book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, so I knew Monique was my girl.
The visual feel of the photo we needed to shoot was made clear to me. I needed to appear approachable, friendly, trustworthy, attractive, yet professional, distinguished, intelligent. So I wore relatively conservative clothes, but tried to still look pretty and feminine. I made sure not to show any real cleavage, and although I had my hair and makeup professionally done, I was instructed not to appear too glamorous, because if I was too beautiful, it might detract from the content of my book, which contains serious science and a powerful message about self-healing I’m dying to spread far and wide.
The people on my marketing team tell me I’m “the brand” when it comes to my book and my business, but I must say, it’s weird to feel like a commodity that must be arranged just so during a photo shoot. Perhaps my resistance to being commoditized is what inspired me to do what I did just following my cover photo shoot - strip naked and let my freak flag fly during my first ever boudoir photo shoot. (After all, at 43, I figure things aren’t getting any perkier!)