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Interview with love expert Cate Mackenzie

Love and vulnerability are two themes I’ve been exploring in my own self healing work. Vulnerability is the one thing we all have in common. In order to fully open up to love we have to be and meet our own vulnerability.

Cate Mackenzie is a Love Coach, Psychosexual Therapist, stand up comic and Artist. She has appeared on Channel 5, BBC 2, Sky, Psychologies Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Radio 5 Live and Radio London among others. I was drawn to Cate because of the deep work she does with helping people to open up their hearts.

“It’s worth allowing yourself to be a fool for love,” explains Cate. “If you can open your heart you’ll be able to attract someone into your life. This means daring to take a risk starting to have fun (doing all the random and rare things you’ve always wanted to do) releasing the past (making a list of all the people who have hurt you and find one thing to thank them, even if it was to show you how you do not want to be treated) and making a commitment to have love (with no expectations of how this will be) then you may be surprised how you can be rewarded with love!

“When we can allow ourselves to have fun and engage with life again you may find yourself starting to smile, laugh and compliment people. This immediately opens us to new connections.

Looking for love

So what if you’re looking for love but not being successful?

“I am often asked whether it is possible for everyone to have a partner and I always say, ‘of course it is’. If it is a true wish then you have the power to make it come into reality. Sometimes it may have seemed such a long time that a person is scared to believe they can have what they want. Or they may have been through so much disappointment that they are afraid of repeating these experiences. I encourage them to take baby steps towards the journey beginning with doing things they enjoy.

“I also suggest taking time to release the past and all the previous pain by listing all your past loves and thanking each one. Once you have done this then the contract with them is complete and you can let someone new in. You may now also be able to create a clear list of what you do want. For example if your ex betrayed you, you may now want faithfulness. Create a list of what you really would like in a relationship. Your true love will have at least two things in common with you so as you move to doing things you love you are more likely to meet that special person who likes them too.

“As soon as you are enjoying yourself, you are opening your heart again”, says Cate. “Fun is the key. I have people come to me because they’ve wanted a partner and we work with what will give them fun, be it singing, living in the countryside, dancing, painting or sport.

“That is the key to dating because if you’re having fun you’ll relax enough to dare to take the risk to date!”

Cate works with individuals and couples and groups around relationships with themselves, their partner and the relationship with the whole of their life.

Being single and having fun

“If a single person wants a partner, we look at the whole picture of their life and start to work on helping them to feel good and then get them to go into dating. We go on a journey of dating – meeting different people in different ways. It always includes what’s loving for them and they’re given practices to think about and take home. As they learn how to date it gets less and less scary and then they get used to it. Very often if they stay and commit to the process they will meet a partner.

“It’s not about age, what you look like or what your life is like; it’s about the willingness to be a soft. When someone takes the steps and I see that they are really committed to the process I somehow know that they will bring a partner in soon. Before that they might have wanted the universe to deliver without wanting to commit. It’s through their commitment that they make this shift and go into new dimension. It’s the same with couples, when they both decide they’re going make the relationship work then magic happens.”

A partner will show up

“A lot of people think I’ll create the great life when I get the partner, when actually it’s about creating the life now and the partner will just show up because you’ll be having so much fun. When you are in this kind of childlike energy, a partner shows up.”

Cate is engaged to her partner. She met him following her own medicine after giving herself a three week holiday to dance, have fun and play. “I went to meet a friend for coffee and got chatting to a guy. The old Cate might have had a set diary and needed to go home and do lots of things. The new Cate was exploring everything that came her way.

“We ended up spending the next 14 hours together taking an adventure around London. I met him in a place of spontaneity and he has continued to be my playmate. At the end of three weeks of pure fun and bliss he showed up and has continued to inspire me to have more and more fun, rest, relaxation and laughter!”

Helping people

Cate’s sex therapy work helps women and men to go on a journey to explore their femininity/masculinity sexuality and body. The therapy gives them confidence around different aspects of sexuality and works through any issues. She helps women and men to discover what they want, how they want to treat their body and connect with their womb/hara.

“Women can be afraid of showing their emotions in a relationship – they think they have to be nice all the time. It doesn’t mean being critical, nasty or moaning. I’m talking about real vulnerable, clear emotions. This can help to put a man in touch with his emotions. Men can also be afraid of expressing themselves and what they want and be seen as possibly dominant or threatening. They can learn to assert themselves clearly and become more confident in relationships.”

Vulnerability and love

In relationships, you’ll start off as open and vulnerable, then experiences and pain show up and make you close down. We start off with the best of intentions to have an open heart and after a while the protective shells come back on.

“Most of us have experienced loss and when a new experience comes in the temptation is to think it is all going to go wrong and just close down. There is nothing wrong with protecting ourselves, but it is important to learn how to allow yourself to open again.

“Sometimes you may want to pull away to have boundaries and this is also really important to know you have choice and that you can open and close. It’s about learning to flow with the opening and closing. Being soft and vulnerable but being aware too, it takes practice.

“If you’re used to being closed to protect yourself you end up thinking it’s the best way to be. In fact an open muscle has more elasticity and we’re able to move away quicker when we’re relaxed and open. Being open and soft is gives you more freedom and access to movement than if you’re closed and hard with no leverage.

“I spent a lot of time protecting myself because I thought I then wouldn’t get hurt. I’d stopped taking risks, being vulnerable and shut life down. Teaching dance in community settings started to heal and open my heart and began a lifelong journey and study of love. The people with disabilities I was teaching showed me such incredible unconditional love and I felt myself melting and softening.

“It’s an ongoing process, but it gets easier to embrace myself fully. I want to be a channel of love, living my life in service of love and letting go of any parts that can get in the way, so I can live from my highest self. I am human and can feel all kinds of emotions but the journey I have chosen is also teaching me how to love more and more each day and for that I am very grateful.”

Cate’s tips on opening up to love

  • Do daily practices that support, ground and open you to feel safe enough to dare to be loving. For example meditate or visualise, read, write a gratitude list.
  • Find out what grounds you and do it.
  • Follow your heart, do what excites you.
  • Relax and release old pain through writing or talking.
  • Breathe in nature and take regular exercise.
  • Find out what food suits you and eat well.
  • Take lots of support, good feedback will help build your confidence.
  • Clear out your home of clutter, clear out toxic friendships and allow space for new balanced friendships and a clear clean home.
  • In the far right hand corner of your bedroom create a love zone with an image of love or two objects symbolising a pair for example.
  • Ask people how they found love and make an action plan for you to do it too.
  • Commit to you having the life you want.

You can find out more about Cate, including her artwork, comedy nights and workshops at www.catemackenzie.com.

 

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