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13 Things You Finally Understand When You’ve Found Your Soul Mate

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13 Things You Finally Understand When You’ve Found Your Soul Mate

My Soul Mate causes me considerable discomfort. He sees the beauty of my soul but he also sees the ugly small fears of my ego. He knows me intimately and despite or because of this he loves me. He holds me accountable to be my best self. This is incredibly valuable but he is not just a hall monitor of my soul. He protects and provides for my soul and he does the same for my heart and my more corporeal needs. He is my Soul Mate, play mate and so much more. I am the same for him. Here are some things I have finally understood after finding my Soul Mate. I hope you will too.

1. You Don’t Have To Lie Anymore

When you meet your Soul Mate you finally understand the most valuable lesson in life. You no longer need to lie about who you are. This can be a painful realization. Your lies can be prettier than your truth. A soulmate says “show me your uglies” and though they may not like the lies you’ve told yourself and others – they stick around and help you restore authenticity. The little lies may be pretty but the authentic you is stunning both to your soulmate and the world.

In my life I have made some pretty difficult decisions and some enormous mistakes. I have hidden past embarrassments, lied to myself about my own personal foibles and lied to others about my short-comings. Meeting my Soul Mate released the demons. Will the real me please stand up? Yes, with pride.

2. You Learn About New Ways To Have Fun

When your Soul Mate walks, runs or falls into your life suddenly you have a lot more fun. You do things you never thought you could do. You take up skiing, you learn to speak German, you read to each other in bed – and you laugh during sex. Things that are fun – are a lot more fun. Things you thought you could not enjoy – become enjoyable. Your Soul Mate is your play mate.

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3. You Find Meaning In The Mundane

You are folding laundry with your Soul Mate and your eyes meet his. He is there and you are there. In that moment there is magic. You realize that the best moment of your life may be when he is holding one end of the sheet and you are holding the other. It’s like the dogs eating spaghetti in Lady & The Tramp.

4. You May Be Out Of Sync

You and you Soul Mate may not always be in sync. I have had moments where I have felt incredibly connected to him and he has been thinking about hockey. I have come to understand through my Soul Mate that it is okay if we are having different experiences at different times. This is your Soul Mate – he’ll stick around: you’ll get another shot at this kind of moment. It’s also funny in retrospect. I am gazing at him with love and longing and he is coming to grips with The Canucks decision to trade Luongo.

When you meet your Soul Mate you realize that there are indescribable things that make them perfect for you. You may not go sailing with your Soul Mate but you sure do like the cut of their jib. There is something about their toed-in walk, the width of their shoulders, the curve of their neck, their gummy smile, their unibrow, their lispy talk, the callouses on their hands… There are things that you find absolutely irresistible about them that probably wouldn’t be listed together on the top ten list of any other person in the world but they really do it for you.

5. You’re There When They’re Down

Your Soul Mate is having a bad day. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  When you have a Soul Mate you finally realize that you need to do what they need to help them – not what you would like to do. You listen. You don’t talk. You don’t make things better. You understand. You wait until the dust has settled and bring on the chips, the haagen daz, the foot massage. You do what is needed because you understand this is one of the days your Soul Mate needs to release the poison before you help heal the wound.

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6. You Read Their Mind

Your Soul Mate sends out waves that only you pick up on. You sense, from across a crowded room, that they need to be extricated from a dire conversation with a dour companion. You burst into laughter with them as they merely think a funny thought. You nod your head in agreement as they lift an eyebrow in response to an irrational proclamation. In short – you have a Soul Code with your Soul Mate.

7. You Make Your Soul Mate Better

It is a popular idea, a sweet idea, that your Soul Mate accepts you as you are. Well, I don’t know about you but I have some pretty ugly scars and I don’t mean my stretch marks. So does my Soul Mate. It is my job and it is his job to say hey, you have a little scar tissue built up here and you are using it as an excuse to behave in a very unflattering way.

Take my stretch marks. My stretch marks are no reason whatsoever to prevent me from swimming with my son. My lack of facility with numbers does not allow me to be a bad bookkeeper. A frustrating day at work does give my Soul Mate a free pass for the grouchies when he walks in the door. We make each other better by acknowledging that each of us can be or do better. It does not mean we love less or are not accepting our Soul Mate. We accept and expect the best of them and offer the best of ourselves.

8. Your Heart Goes Boom When Your Soul Mate Is In The Room

Zing go the strings of your heart. Over and over again. My husband is my Soul Mate and he takes my breath away. He can also make me supernaturally enraged but that’s another story for another article. Getting back to the taking my breath away part. He does. It’s not any one of the innumerable things about him that makes my heart skip a beat it’s the all of him. In his entirety, in an inexplicable way… he is it for me. No one can compete.

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9. Your Soul Mate Is A Surprise

Your Soul Mate may not be who you thought he would be. I thought my soul mate would be an Atticus Finch type and we’d live a child-free life on Park Avenue, read the New York Times in our matching pajamas in bed. Imagine my surprise when I met my lumberjack of a husband and went to live in his off the grid cabin in the woods. Then at the ripe old age of 44 I and the lumberjack (who is 50) have a baby. Surprise! He doesn’t even wear pajamas but he does make a mean cup of coffee and it’s certainly a pleasure to watch him chop wood without a shirt on. Lumberjacks stay pretty fit from all that chopping wood and hauling water.

10. Your Soul Mate Is Not You

When you finally meet your Soul Mate you understand that the love your your life, the mate for your soul, does not have to be just like you. It’s not important that you share a sense of humour, read the same books or hold the same opinions. You may not. What you do have is the spark that comes from divergent ways of seeing the world. This is not opposites attracting but finding the piece of the puzzle that fits.

It doesn’t mean you were not complete prior to meeting your Soul Mate – it means that your Soul Mate gives you the strength or ability to be more with the goods you were given. It’s like an upgrade – suddenly the you machine runs much better. Your brain expands when you’re with your Soul Mate. You are able to see life in an entirely new way. It is because you are so close and have such respect for one another that you can see the world through their eyes.

11. You Trust Your Soul Mate

Your Soul Mate can be trusted with your secrets, your fears and the keys to your car. There is never a moment of doubt. Your Soul Mate is safe as houses. The older you grow the more you realize that most people are fighting for themselves. Expect your Soul Mate. Your Soul Mate is also fighting for you and he is the one you completely trust.

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12. You Feel At Home

Speaking of houses…your Soul Mate is your home base. Whether you are living in a cabin in the woods, a penthouse on Park Avenue or a house in the suburbs you are finally and inextricably home. Your Soul Mate is your own personal feeling of home.

13. You Are Free

Your Soul Mate doesn’t mind if you leave for a while. If you have to travel for work or you need to be alone for a day or two your Soul Mate can let you have that freedom. A Soul Mate understands that something stronger than physical presence tethers your souls together. When your Soul Mate is free… you are free.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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