For those who claim we’re going off-topic with the soul and self-value stuff lately, consider that…
… when it comes to relationships and dating, how you feel about yourself and your life influences 98% of the attraction.
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you.
When your blood is pumping and your mind is clear of confusion, anything is possible with women. In this kind of state, flirting is a natural expression of your being.
And flirting is instinctual: when you’re relaxed and you allow great feminine energy to move through you, the natural thing that occurs is a mischievous smile, which continues polarity’s cycle.
Yet this naturalness is impossible to conjure from a quasi-depression or through over-thinking. If you need to pump yourself up to meet a woman, it’s likely you’re conjuring up a performance, rather than relaxing into your nature.
Seduction is about relaxation.
Anyway, here’s a riff on some classic concepts we teach in Essentials, that describe how your ‘inner work’—the exploration of the human soul—is crucial to making attraction stick.
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Introversion & Aliveness
One of Zan’s teachings has always been aliveness.
If you expand your expression by just 10%, you will speak a little louder, take up a little more room, and spread a little more energy. People will check you out.
On a Friday night in Manhattan, a gigolo friend once told me to dance with my hands in the air. ‘No-one in New York dances with their arms above their waist,’ he told me. Sure enough, within a minute, a blonde made her way over to us, and began shaking her body.
It’s a little like what you’ll find in acting classes: when you add 10% more clarity to your words and gestures, you’ll come across as clear and unambiguous.
It is worth learning how to expand your energy just 10% more than what it already is. Now if you tell me you’re an introvert, and such play-acting brings up your resistance, I will counter that it will behoove you, for the rest of your life, to know how to put a well-timed dent in the social universe.
But you know that I won’t stop at the general body-language level of coaching. If you learn how to awaken the virtue of passion in your body, or you find the images that ignite your soul, you will get your blood pumping, your enthusiasm running, at a heightened level.
You can be a wallflower, but if your entrails are brimming with excitement, and you can move body and voice with just a little intentionality, that transmits.
Now I’ve gone to the party in a slow mood more times than I care to remember. Last out the house; last out the venue. I guess I have a conviction that I don’t need monkey antics to attract someone, and nine times out of ten I end up in a bubble with that one delicious woman who’s exactly on my wavelength. All it takes is for one other person in the room to feel you, and it’s the difference between a lonely night and an ecstatic one.
Seduction is about seeing.
A few years back, one of our members went to a house party while reading The Alabaster Girl. He got tired from the social interaction thing, and sat down to read.
Before long, a crowd had formed around him, asking what he was into. Women beamed at him. Following his inner aliveness, he went from outsider to king.
* * *
Have an Adventure that Isn’t Her
When I was young and had fallen in love with some girl, I would cancel any plans I had just at the chance I might bump into her. Having 10% of her attention, I figured, was better than having zero. I never seem to get any of those women.
Every pretty girl has always known, since early childhood, who’s attracted to her, and who she can control. It’s as if her sweetness lays a spider’s web, and she can see all the boys influenced by her charms. She knows what a shift in her vocal tone, a change in hairstyle, a simple curling of the finger does to you. She notes your beaming facial expressions when she gives you a little validation. Your eyes blink uncontrollably, and she feels your thinness of breath. It tells her everything she needs to know about how much power she has over you.
For some women, who is in their web, and how they can grow their allure, are the only questions that run their lives. But, as you surely know, a pretty girl only dreams of men not caught in her web. And a one-minute bad impression is enough to light up her dreams; ten years of yearning, and she barely remembers your name.
Now as you age, you (hopefully) grow in stoic knowing. You smile at the rose-garden and walk on by, instead of venturing in and being cut by it. You become your own centre of gravity. This doesn’t mean you harden and go your own way. ‘I’m totally affected by your charms, darling… I just have the discipline to stay caught up in my own energy.’
‘My life is too intoxicating to be caught up by your breadcrumbs, my dear.’
‘Come ride with me, if you can handle it.’
As with Heraclitus’ river, if you can step in and out of the spider’s web at the same time, you’ve a chance of forging from it an adult affair.
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LTRs & The Fear of Abandonment
But this sugar-and-spice spider’s web is, in essence, a validation trap.
And the validation trap (which is, at its core, a fear-of-abandonment trap) gets all the more tricky inside a relationship. When you live with your partner, or see each other often, your erotic spark is anyhow on a knife-edge. Absence makes the heart grow fonder; closeness makes the libido wander!
Any loving couple, living together, is prone to fall into laziness and assumptions.
My girlfriend was recently invited to a wedding. And by association, so was I. My girlfriend was excited, leaping instantly into images of both of us being there. New suit. New dress. Summer and canopés on the fresh-cut lawn. As I listened, I got wrapped up in the story of going to this wedding of a couple I barely knew. I felt terrible. The sheer weight of my girlfriend’s assumption almost had us booking tickets to go. I spoke out:
‘It’s not meaningful to me to go to this wedding, babe. I want to put this precious time and money elsewhere. Thought of this wedding tightens me up; it does not set me free or speak to my soul.’
She understood me in a second. A little sad, my girlfriend said she’d make plans to go with her other friends. And gave me her blessing to do what I wanted with the extra four or five days. She let me be without a moment’s coercion.
But we weren’t always like this.
Every smart woman learns that she’ll become unhappy if she succeeds in controlling you, and the best way she can serve herself is to give you the most freedom possible… so that you return to her fully charged up. If you are a man who wants to keep the spark alive in your relationship, you have to be an advocate for this insight from the beginning, while remembering that beneath any controlling behaviour, your choice for distance will always, just slightly, break her feminine heart.
The first years in any relationship require keeping patience so that your partner profoundly learns this lesson, and becomes more an advocate for your freedom than you are.
‘Alone time’ is not for you, but in service of everyone around you.
Unless ‘alone time’ is an excuse to hide from the challenge of intimacy, that is.
‘Alone time’ is meant for the fascinations of your soul.
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Designing Your Life
The first concept and lesson from our Essentials course: Designing your Life.
It is imperative—if you want to relate to women powerfully, or to simply live beautifully—to place what you most love as priorities in your day.
Pay yourself first.
— What activities, hobbies, art, exercise, fills you with life, making you the best version of yourself?
— What if you scheduled out 60 minutes of pure engagement with this activity, before doing anything else with your day?
Last Sunday I spoke with one of our long-time members, who’d recently picked up an hour-or-two habit of daily guitar. ‘I can’t seem to justify it to myself, though,’ he said to the group. ‘There’s no guarantee this is going anywhere. If I get less than thirty people at my end-of-year concert, it’ll all feel like a waste of time.’
‘But you said playing guitar each day makes you feel alive, and the energy it brings filters into everything else you do… work, relationship, simply walking through town.’
‘That’s right,’ he said.
‘Even if no-one makes it to your concert, it sounds like your guitar already succeeds in its soul-enlivening work.’
In our productivity-obsessed culture (in which the majority of us are victims to a deep survival-anxiety), we are taught to eat the frog—to blast through our duties each morning, not stopping ’til we’ve ticked everything off our planner. Most productivity-obsessed people I meet confide in me that, fretting over a longed-for change, their ‘distinguished career’ has actually been a case of climbing the wrong mountain for one or two decades. And that they’ve forgotten how to drink from the well of meaning.
In fact, by prioritising productivity over soul for too long, I see how men’s minds and bodies become so conditioned that it becomes hard for them to later turn their faces towards beauty.
It is time to re-prioritise that which is sacred. And make rituals that no-one can prize from your grasp.
It’s what’s needed to get off the hamster wheel—and it’s a fight against the system.
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‘And From The Nothingness Came New Life’
The concept of ‘lifestyle design’ is out there, all right. But too many get caught up in false ideals of a fantasy life, and miss aiming for a more transcendent direction. They don’t see what minimalism and renunciation is actually for.
I’ll clarify. For this is a bizarre form of suffering:
Every time I quit a job, or got my workweek down to more-or-less four hours, I ended up feeling bored and directionless. Many travelers I speak to follow my geographical footsteps, trying to find something that’s impossible to find—tangibly, at least—and they come home tired and disappointed. There’s only so many times you can go rafting, or on pub crawls, or match with local women, before the emptiness of it eats you whole. Yet traveling is for emptiness entirely: space for beauty to come through.
I guess we return to Dostoevsky’s insight, that most people are actually terrified of freedom for the anxiety and guilt it brings.
You become radically responsible for what you do with your empty space, and there’s no boss to blame anymore.
To live a soulful life, to gather something of your personal essence, your truth, your direction, realise that one should design their life for this empty space. Minimalism is to live in contemplation, harmony, silence; and the point of your sabbatical is to build a set of circumstances such that insight, revelation, soul—the life-changing glimmer of beauty that underlays all things—can come through.
One has to sit through the void of his aloneness: no-one sees beauty when they’re trying so hard to get somewhere else.
Western culture has us fetishise freedom, as if it’s a commodity one can accrue. In truth, freedom is simply a clear road—a privilege, yes—which allows us to choose to what we commit.
No-one, in their depth, wants to be perpetually free. Much better to be caught up in something; caught up in an adventure far bigger than one girl.
I’ll speak more about this another time, but the great reason that men ‘can’t commit’ to a woman is because they don’t know their real direction in life. This is intelligent self-preservation: marry a woman before knowing your direction, and she could turn out to be a hindrance to your soul’s actualisation. Marry too soon and you’ll end up in a sense of angst; living a false life from which you’re compelled to get away.
My personal guidance to men today is this:
Only when you know what mountain you’re committed to climbing in life does any particular woman make sense. It’s as if, as you feel into the life-work that claims your heart, her particular energetic constitution let’s you know that, with her, your attempts will be a success. Choose a woman who empowers you to win.
When you know what mountain you’re committed to climbing in life, it becomes very difficult for any woman to control you, no matter how sweet and sticky her web!
But it can take some real exploration before you know your adventure.
Anyway, I’ll hit pause.
We’ll finish this exploration on Sunday.
What, of all this, is meaningful to you?
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