A Dog, a Duck, and The Law of Attraction

Not long ago, I decided to try an experiment from the book E-Squared by Pam Grout. The experiment was simple – pick something, such as “green cars” or “yellow butterflies,” and then watch for those objects over the next 24 hours. The purpose of the experiment is to demonstrate how our thoughts create our reality.

For my experiment, I decided to watch for feathers. Later in the day, my (gorgeous, brilliant, generous) boyfriend texted me three photos of artwork that featured birds. He said they made him think of me, he thought they would look great in a room I recently redecorated. I thought, “Hmm, birds…. Close, but not precisely what I’m watching for.”

Later that night, I drove to my mother’s house to take care of the three Labs my stepfather trains as hunting dogs. I let the dogs out one at a time to do their thing. I let Bella out last, and she took off for the large pond that edges the property. It was dark out, but I could hear her crashing around in the brush. I whistled her back a few times, but she didn’t come. I grumbled and kept whistling, figuring she’d found something fragrantly rotting to roll in.

No animals were harmed in the taking of this picture. But one dead duck is now famous. Okay, maybe not famous, exactly.....

No animals were harmed in the taking of this picture. But one dead duck is now famous. Okay, maybe not famous, exactly…..

She finally trotted back home, carrying something in her mouth that she’d found by the water. When she got close enough to the floodlight near the kennels, I saw what it was: a dead duck. She was clearly proud of the prize she’d brought back (which I have no doubt she found rather than killed – she’s trained to not hurt the birds). After a momentmy “ewww” changed into “wow.” The universe had sent Bella on an errand – a bit of a macabre one, but nonetheless one that couldn’t have been more up her alley – and she’d presented me with a whole bird’s worth of feathers as the proof in my experiment.

Next, I think I will watch for large stacks of cash. I’ll be dog-sitting again in a few weeks. ;)


I found love online, and I believe EVERYONE can find love in the digital age. Most online dating profiles don’t work well because they’re too generic and emphasize the wrong things (do you use any of these yawn-worthy dating profile cliches??).  Let’s create an online dating profile that will attract your perfect match!

Dating Advice: How I Did The Work to Get READY for Love

Icon5I stumbled across this fantastic article on iVillage: 6 Ways to Set the Stage for Love. This list absolutely nails it – if you want a guide to getting ready for love to come into your life, this is it. As I was reading the article, I realized, Hey, I actually DID all of these things before I embarked upon online dating. And I believe this had a lot to do with why I (quickly) found love and my perfect match through an online dating website.

Here’s a very personal review of how I approached the list of six things to do to set the stage for love:

1. Lose the Fear and Anxiety

Through my mid and late 20s, my entire purpose in dating was to eventually get married. That endgame was ALWAYS on my mind, and I worried that I wouldn’t find someone, or when I was in a relationship I anxiously fixated on “where it was going.” I was afraid that everyone else would find someone, and I’d be left all alone. But after I got divorced, losing the fear and anxiety was actually pretty easy. I truly didn’t care if I never got married again. Presto! So much of my fear and anxiety disappeared, and it was incredibly liberating.

For many people, losing fear and anxiety specifically means getting over fear of rejection, hurt, and being alone. It’s not easy – not at all – but it’s worth it. When you can approach dating without fear and anxiety, your walls drop and you create space for something wonderful to rush in.

2. Make Peace

Before I jumped into online dating, I put in a lot of time reflecting on past relationships, understanding the mistakes I’d made, and taking responsibility for my part in past failed relationships. I realized there were things I needed to work on and change (I’m still working on those things). I did my very best to release past hurts and disappointments enough that they wouldn’t sabotage future relationships. Issues will always keep bubbling up – it’s just part of being human – but a willingness to examine and make peace with issues from your past gives you the best shot at preventing those things from sabotaging your future happiness.

Making peace with your past ensures that your past won’t sabotage your future happiness.

3. Invest in Your Life

After my divorce, my mission was to create a full life. I set out to build closer, more meaningful connections with the people who were most important to me. I committed to getting out of the house more and said “yes” to just about every invitation that came my way. I changed my hair color for the first time in a decade. I redecorated a couple of rooms. I spent more time at my favorite hangouts. I traveled, visiting family and friends. I wrote in my journal. I started attending a weekly meditation class. I tried some new things, including shooting a handgun for the first time in my life at an indoor shooting range (turns out I’m an inexplicably great shot!).

Put energy into creating a life that’s rich and full and uniquely YOU.

I wasn’t always ecstatically happy – there were many very lonely and sad days, especially in the first six months or so after my ex and I split – but even during the bad moments I could take some comfort in the fact that I wasn’t just “waiting for things to get better,” I was actively investing sincere effort and a lot of energy, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

4. Focus on What You Need (and Less on What You Want)

Toward the end of my marriage, I realized I’d never really understood what I truly needed in a relationship. That might sound stupid, but I think it’s actually fairly common. When I was younger, I had laundry lists of things I wanted in a man – the dreaded checklist. It was huge, and it did me absolutely no good at all. I finally realized that long lists of “wants” wasn’t helpful. I had to dig in and understand what I needed in a relationship, the type of connection and dynamic I needed to have with a man in order to feel loved and secure.

Instead of a checklist of “wants,” figure out what kind of connection and dynamic you need with someone to feel loved and secure in a relationship.

5. Have No Expectations

Yes, easier said than done. If we had NO expectations of anything at all, we wouldn’t even bother with online dating, right? Here’s how I approached this: I expected that I’d meet a few interesting people, and I was open to the possibility that I’d find someone wonderful, but I wasn’t attached to any specific outcome. This is what letting go of expectations truly means – releasing your attachment to an outcome (i.e. I must find boyfriend before the three month term of my online dating subscription expires or I will diiiieeeeeeee).

Letting go of expectations means setting your intention and at the same time releasing your attachment to a specific outcome.

When you go into online dating obsessively attached to a certain outcome, two very bad things happen:

  1. You take on an energy of desperation, which other people can sense from miles away (yes, even though the ethers of the internet).
  2. You completely miss out on the joy of the moment, because you’re so focused on what you want to happen in the future. I say this from plenty of painful personal experience. I used to go into every relationship already fixating on where it was going, or projecting how it might end. It sucks the joy out of life.

Instead obsessing over an outcome, set your intention at the outset (i.e. I’m online dating with the intention of finding a boyfriend) and then let it go. It’s a subtle difference, but if you can master this it will give you an energy of self-confidence instead of desperation.

6. Believe That You Deserve to Be Happy

I think I’ve always believed I deserved happiness, but I really doubted I had the skills to maintain a happy relationship in the long term. After my divorce, I set out to educate myself. I read books about relationships, and had many lengthy discussions with people in my life about relationship dynamics, communication, how to handle ups and downs. I’ve learned so much that I wish I would have known ten years ago. I made a LOT of mistakes in past relationships. They were innocent mistakes, because I truly didn’t know any better, but they cost me a lot. Now, I’m much more confident in my ability to maintain a happy relationship. Better late than never, I guess, right? And my education continues.

Believing that you deserve happiness is all about self-esteem. When you hold yourself in high regard, deeply knowing that you deserve a wonderful, happy life is automatic.

Katherine’s Online Dating Tip

Do the work to get ready for love, and you’ll be happier with your life regardless of your relationship status, and give yourself the best possible chance for future relationship happiness.

I believe there is love out there for EVERYONE, and I want you to find love in the internet age. Most online dating profiles don’t work well because they’re too generic, utterly yawn-worthy, and emphasize the wrong things. Let’s get started creating an online dating profile that showcases your unique spark and attracts your perfect match. Click the Services link to see how I can help.

Online Dating Profile Tips: Don’t Let Negativity Sneak in

Icon6Negativity in online profiles is extremely common. It’s not really surprising, in a way. Nearly everyone who’s ever been in a romantic relationship has something they could be bitter about, and when you put yourself “out there” as an online dater, past issues tend to bubble up.

But letting bitterness take up space in your heart, and worse, letting it seep into your dating life is like spraying yourself with a can of Loving Relationship Repellant. Online daters WILL pick up on it, even if you post a photo of yourself grinning big, and the rest of your profile is filled with statements about how much you “love life” (HELLO, dating profile cliche alert!).

Allowing bitterness into your dating life is like spraying yourself with a can of Loving Relationship Repellant.

Sometimes the negativity is so blatant, you can practically feel the hostility radiating from every pixel. In other cases, it can be quite subtle. Online daters often think their negative statements are perfectly okay, justifying them as “being straightforward” or “being clear about what I want/don’t want.” But what they’re really doing is conveying an unattractive attitude.

Let’s take a look at a few snippets from actual dating profiles…..

Example 1 from a woman seeking men: “I don’t want a man who is a jerk.” (or “unfaithful” or “plays games”)

My reaction: “Hmm, she must have a history of relationships with men who were less than awesome, and she sounds bitter about it. She sounds like one of those women who likes to complain to her best friend about how ‘all men are jerks.’

Bitterness is a HUGE turnoff because bitter people are (or at least seem) hard to please. Who wants to date someone who’s difficult to please?

First of all, statements like “I don’t want a man who is a jerk” are completely unnecessary. I think it’s safe to assume that there’s an unspoken understanding among online daters that no one is specifically looking for a jerk. But here’s where the real problem lies: ladies, the tiniest whiff of bitterness is a HUGE turnoff to men. Why? Bitter women often are (or at least seem) extremely difficult to please because they’re starting from a place of such negativity. What man wants to invest a bunch of energy into a woman who has to be coaxed out of her bitterness? Or worse, a woman who could turn that bitterness on him if she becomes dissatisfied? Plus, bitter people just don’t sound like much fun.

Example 2, from a woman seeking men: “If you’re not serious don’t bother, I don’t want my time to be wasted.”

My reaction: “She sounds impatient, and a little hostile.”

This woman sounds like she could be pretty hard to please, too, doesn’t she? She wants a man to prove right away that he’s not wasting her time. This statement conveys defensiveness, the opposite of the open positivity that most online daters are drawn to. And this is another one of those “duh” statements – I’m betting no one in online dating wants their time to be wasted.

Example 3, from a man seeking women: “I’ve never done online dating before, and I’m a bit apprehensive about this.”

My reaction: “This guy doesn’t sound like a particularly confident or optimistic person. It seems like he doesn’t even really want to be dating.”

Your thoughts create your reality, and if you believe something is going to be a flop, you’re essentially welcoming that outcome.

This man is just dipping a toe into the online dating waters, and he’s clearly expecting that it won’t go well. This is the opposite of the vibe you want to send out into the dating ethers. It’s not that I can’t sympathize with his statement – we’re ALL apprehensive about online dating at first. But your thoughts create your reality, and if you believe something is going to be a flop, you’re essentially welcoming that outcome. Not to mention that confidence and optimism/good attitude are the types of things that most online daters specifically say they’re looking for.

Look for Pointers and Signposts in Your Profile

Is there bitterness or negativity in your dating profile? Or are the examples above things that you occasionally say to yourself, or identify with? That’s good! Really!! Where there’s negativity, there’s also a signpost pointing to something in your life that needs examination. The point is not to simply change a few words or delete a sentence from your dating profile, but to take a deeper look at how you feel about yourself, your life, love and dating… and what, if anything, you’d like to transform.

Katherine’s Online Dating Profile Tip:

Scour your dating profile for signs of negativity, and examine your attitude about yourself, your life, love, men/women, and dating.

I believe there is love out there for EVERYONE, and I want you to find love in the internet age. Let’s get started creating an online dating profile that showcases your unique spark and attracts your perfect match. Click the Services link to see how I can help.

Online Dating Profile Tips: Do You Use These Yawn-Worthy Cliches?

Icon3Do any of these dating profile cliches sound familiar?

  • “I’m easygoing”
  • “I’m down-to-Earth”
  • “I enjoy the outdoors”
  • “I enjoy being active”
  • “I love to travel”
  • “I love the beach”
  • “Family is important to me”
  • “I’m loyal and trustworthy”
  • “I value my friends and family”
  • “I love life”
  • “I choose to embrace each day”
  • “I love adventure”
  • “I love trying new things”
  • “I love to laugh”
  • “I’m open-minded”
  • “I love to have fun”

Are you still awake? I don’t blame you if you’re not. These kinds of statements couldn’t be more yawn-worthy. The problem is that they don’t really say anything. They certainly don’t make a guy or gal scramble for the “Email her/him now” link.

Show, Don’t Tell

In fiction writing, every writer learns a very basic rule that’s commonly known as “show, don’t tell.” Showing makes for interesting writing (and reading), while telling inspires yawns. Here’s how it works….

Telling: “I love to cook.”

Showing: “Growing up, I learned to cook at the side of my Italian grandmother. My favorite dishes to make are osso buco, meatballs with white wine sauce, and Tuscan chicken. On a Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing I love more than opening one of my grandmother’s cookbooks and filling the house with the delicious aromas of Italian cuisine.”

Telling = Snore. Showing = A memorable, mouth-watering scene that any profile browser with taste buds and a stomach wants to be part of.

A profile full of “I love to…” and “I enjoy….” and “X, Y, and Z are important to me” does nothing to reveal what makes you unique and amazing. A million people could (and probably do) say “I love to cook” in their online dating profiles. But each of those online daters has a unique story behind their love of cooking, and that’s what makes an impression and shows your personality.

Showing can do something else, too. It often reveals interesting tidbits about a person’s life, values, and personality. The example above not only describes in delicious detail the online dater’s love of cooking, it also tells you something about her roots, her childhood, and her relationship with her family. That’s compelling reading.

It wouldn’t be appropriate to do this with, say, all ten of your favorite activities – your profile would be much too long and sound a bit melodramatic – but creating images or scenes for two or three of the activities in your life you’re most passionate about will give your profile a huge edge over all the dull “I love to…” profiles out there.

Katherine’s Online Dating Profile Tip:

Use the “show, don’t tell” writing trick to make your dating profile vibrant, interesting, and uniquely YOU.

I believe there is love out there for EVERYONE, and I want you to find love in the internet age. Let’s get started creating an online dating profile that showcases your unique spark and attracts your perfect match. Click the Services link to see how I can help!