There’s no way around it, this first day is very word heavy. Do persevere to the bottom of the page though, as it sets up the rest of the challenge. I promise the rest of the prompts will be MUCH shorter.
To get us started we’re going to be exploring romance, and what it means (and doesn’t mean) to us as individuals.
If you take a walk through any high street, or flick through a magazine or two, you’d be forgiven for thinking that romance means red roses, chocolates, schmultzy cards, candles, lingerie, sultry tunes, fine dining and champagne.
I don’t know about you, but that all seems incredibly unimaginative, and highly impersonal.
But…. social pressure being what it is, if we’re not getting those things, we can feel sad, disappointed, and even unloved. This can easily flip into hardcore, anti-romance cynicism, which isn’t the greatest vibration to be putting out there, especially if secretly you really want to be swept up in a great romance.
As with most things, the power to change our situations starts with us. If we want romance in our lives and we’re not getting it, we can do something about that! We don’t need to keep ourselves in a state of wishful longing, we can take action.
But first we need to get curious about what romance means to us.
If you’ve got an allergy to roses, or champagne bubbles going up your nose give you an anxiety attack, then those classic romantic moves are going to leave you cold.
Knowing what you like, and don’t like, is really powerful information to have. It might seem like basic stuff, but often we can have an image in our minds that seems like it would be the height of romance, but the reality can be very different.
I only realised this last summer: for years I had this romantic vision of myself walking through a field of lavender, I thought it would make me feel romantically blissed out. When I eventually made the fantasy into a reality it was actually my idea of hell! Walking through the flight path of thousands of buzzing bees not only filled me with anxiety about getting stung, but the sound was overwhelming and incredibly disorienting. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!
With hindsight, and the new knowledge I have about my particular sensory type, I now feel that it was obvious I’d hate it. That’s good old 20/20 hindsight for you! But now I have the knowledge (and an experience) that I can measure other fantasies against, this can help me decide what to keep as dreams I’m happy not to have fulfilled, and what to manifest into reality.
With all that in mind, your challenge today is....
to get curious about romance and you.
Below are some prompts to help you explore what romance means, and looks like, for you. You might want to note down your thoughts in a journal, or in the space provided in today’s worksheet. If you haven’t created a Romance Vision Board yet, perhaps you could use these questions to help you create one.
Think back over your life, and see if you can pick out any key moments that really hit the romantic spot for you.
- What was going on with your senses?
- Were there any standout scents?
- Was there a certain flavour or texture that helped create the feeling that went with the moment?
- What was going on sound wise?
- What were your eyes feasting on?
- How did your body feel?
If you’re finding it difficult to pin point anything, then over the next few days, why not make a pledge to tune in and see what your senses are telling you?
For instance: if you’re watching a film or tv programme and you find yourself having a heartmelting moment, notice what it was that gave you that feeling.
Go through your day paying attention to any sensory triggers – good and bad. Pop any insights into your journal or create a note on your phone.
If journalling isn’t your thing another great option, besides the Romance Vision Board, is a Pinterest board. This can be especially powerful as the visuals can give you an instant reminder of a feeling, plus you can quickly add to it over time when memories or new experiences pop up.
A vision board (be it virtual or analogue) will build up a really clear picture of ‘what floats your boat’. It can be for your eyes only or you might choose to share it with a partner, empowering them to romance you in a way that they’ll be confident you’ll love.
Remember: each new discovery you make adds to the possibilities for bringing a deeper sense of romance to your everyday. Approach the exploration with a gentle curiosity; this is supposed to feel good, not add to your stress levels.
And if you're still stuck, then have a look at this definition of romance that I found on Urban Dictionary of all places....
‘Romance is a state of connection between two people that is brought about by thoughtful sentimental gestures that mean something to one or both parties; gestures that communicate care and understanding and love, as well as a desire to reach out and connect through the heart with a partner. The purpose of romance is to show the person you love that you’re thinking about them, that you would like them to slow down so you can connect with them, so you can share love again, for a time together. Best when thoughtfully planned, also good when spontaneously carried out, it should never attempt to be forced. Some romantic gestures are: stopping your partner for a slow dance in the living room while making dinner, a spontaneous picnic or trip somewhere special, preparing the bed for lovemaking, a handwritten note, a thoughtful, loving comment, a walk – silently or with speech, or any other number of gestures or actions that cause a couple to slow down and connect. It could even be making a special sandwich together. Romantic gestures are usually simple and sweet. They cause your partner to remember who you are, and why they fell in love with you in the first place.’
Yes it talks about romance as being something you do with a partner, but think outside of the box a bit here – this challenge is called ‘Romancing the Soul’ so… uh huh… your soul is your partner here!
A Note on Self Love
When you hold yourself in high esteem, you’re more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. These things may be in the form of eating healthy, exercising or having healthy relationships.’