I’m moving much closer to a truer way of loving
Love with me in my day, it’s honouring and full of play
I’m stepping up taller, lighting up and glowing stronger
With all of me in my day, I can clearly see this is the way
And I now can see, all of who I am and I’m not afraid to show it
I said, o, wo wo wo - with all that I am, here me say…
I love to love you baby, more and more each day
Living love together, we celebrate along the way
I love to love you baby, more and more each day
Our love, it keeps evolving, this is everything.
Deep within me is the love for humanity
I have seen this is the way
From head to toe it’s love all the way
Evolving, unfolding, making way for true loving
For it is the way
All of what is written below can be read as an offering of evolution if we so choose to live it in our lives. What Gabe, Annette and Bev offered with their lyrics of life, so to speak, were profound – no doubt about that – but what made their presentations most impactful and perhaps life changing for many is that they exude the love that they are talking about. That is, it is obvious by the tender way they move with themselves, the caring and playful way they are with each other and the open, embracing way they are with the audience that communicates a vibration of love not often felt in the world. This makes you feel that true love is not only possible for a select few, it’s quite possible for the entire world – and not in an idealistic, romantic notion kind of way either.
So how did these three women get to expressing this way? Why don’t we all do this? What’s going on to stop us? And how do we too embody the kind of love that excludes no one?
It all starts with purpose.
Our MC for the day, Neil Gamble, started us off with the punch line that would eventually round up the day. He introduced Gabe and Annette as international relationship councillors who speak all over the world – in demand because they bring a “different kind of purpose”. He said, “I love being with them because they love being with people . . . you stop thinking ‘what can I do for me’ and [start thinking] what can I do for another?”
And there it is. Just by being in their presence you get a healing. With Neil’s insight we start to ponder that there may be something far vaster and all encompassing on offer when it comes to connecting with others.
The power couple went with Neil’s lead and kicked off with a stellar opening:
“Purpose is not just a word – it’s an energy, it’s an expression. [Knowing this supports us to] take the importance of connection with others into life. How do we take a deeper relationship with ourselves into a relationship with others? An integral part is about giving our life purpose and deep meaning.” Annette Baker
“People aren’t expressing their love in full.” Gabrielle Caplice
“Life is Medicine is not just a cool title for an event it’s a way of living. We can see how everyone is living and we can see how everyone is medicating and, for the most part, people are not really living.” Annette
When Annette asked the audience who feels they could be having better relationships there was a collective yes.
This was the first of many confirmations for the day – we all know we are not loving to the max and that we have people in our lives that we do not fully open our hearts up to, yet, the very fact that we know this means that we also know it is possible to live the opposite of this, otherwise, how would we know that it doesn’t feel right?
Therefore if we know our relationships are not as full of love as they could be, what are we missing out on?
To remind us of what ‘love in full’ is Gabe described the sweetness and innocence of a child; the pure unconditional love a newborn reflects to the world with such ease and deep surrender.
She gave us a visual of a heart with light rays sparking from the centre of the body to illustrate the fact that “we have an energetic heart space where we can express our love from.” She explained it as “an emanation of warmth – an expression of everything that is intimately you. How gentle you are, how sensitive you are, how raw you are – all of that is an expression of how you are with people.”
“It’s about being real, not having protection in the body – being whoever you are, on any given day. If I’m feeling fragile . . . true fragility is not to cover that up, it’s just to be that – honour that. Or if I’m feeling really amazing – to be that.” Annette
What was so lovely to feel through the day was how open and transparent Gabe and Annette are . . . indeed, always are – whether you speak to them in private or hear them on stage. And today was no exception. They took us inside their personal life in order to show us how raw and challenging it can get sometimes, and that with this comes greater intimacy and a deeper connection with others. Sharing all of them – without an ounce of shame or emotion – we had an opportunity to feel what it’s like to evolve . . . not just as an individual on a personal growth journey, but as a couple and eventually what it will be like with humanity working as one.
“When I express my love for myself, I’m sharing that love with another person [without even trying to do so]. A lot of people don’t realise that. We are not donating or bestowing love to another. We have to be full in ourselves before we [are truly able] to share [love] with another person.” Gabe
“Holding other people with love is about being with people and not imposing anything on another. It’s about holding another as an equal because you know they have as much love as you do.” Gabe
But why would we want to bother? Simple. We all know what it’s like to be on the other end of ‘not love’ – like when someone is judging you or imposing their story or beliefs or conditions on you as Gabe and Annette presented.
“You can walk away feeling exhausted . . . that takes from you,” clarified Gabe.
“When you bring your [whole loving] self to another it’s very inspiring to be around . . . you give another an opportunity to be more of them.” Gabe
From everything the pair were bringing, it was infinitely clear . . . love leaves no one behind.
“This is about being like this with everyone you have a relationship with . . . including someone you’re meeting for the first time . . . we need not be boxed in with a partner. Be flexible in the understanding that we can be like this with everyone we meet.” Annette
“We also have to receive love in – [this can be] a challenge. A lot of people are good at expressing out but not so good at receiving it in . . . it’s an opening up to receive more love in. You can think and feel that you are really great in relationships with people – have good communication and are in close relationships but you may not recognise you’re not letting love in. For example, Mums are good at nurturing everyone else – thinking above and beyond, sharing with their family – but they are not so good at receiving love back – receiving appreciation. Why? Because it challenges our self-worth and self-confidence about ourselves.” Gabe
This is the part we need to get really honest with ourselves if we are to understand and shift the blocks that prevent us from accessing our most powerful asset – love.
“I don’t take anything for granted – if there’s a flat moment we’ll address it. It’s not being picky – it’s about committing to caring in love in that moment. We see in so many relationships where people go past each other and are not really bothering to commit to loving in full.” Gabe
“When a couple is presenting an issue or hurt we might say: “have you enquired about this with each other, talked about this? It’s very alarming how often the answer is no . . . The things we’re asking as to whether they’ve had a conversation about are so basic and fundamentally foundational to relationships.” Annette
It was clear we still had a long way to go in as far as exploring with each other more deeply. The next question is; why haven’t we been?
It takes the courage to be vulnerable and the willingness to change old behaviours – including beliefs and ideals that are stubbornly trying to stick – to start to get things shifting. For it is one thing to say you want to change your ways and another thing to do it. Sometimes we are not willing to work with our hurts and issues because it feels too painful to do so. That’s ok, but it doesn’t really feel great in the long run. The fact is, we can’t avoid it forever as the hurts are all there waiting, like a volcano with its lava bubbling away beneath the surface – the heat will rise eventually. But also, think of the expanded love on offer to feel!
Really what this is about is dropping or renouncing the part of the self that gets in the way of being part of the whole. In other words, bringing it back to Neil’s introduction: thinking less from the ‘I’ angle and more from the ‘all of us’ angle. It sounds contradictory but starting with being honest about where we are personally at, will eventually lead us to being more loving with and for the world (the world including I, we and everything in it). Why? Because being more honest with ourselves means we can see the gaps in our self-loving ways and thoughts. When we close these gaps we bring more love into our every day, which in turn brings more love and inspiration into the lives of others.
As a group we explored the many things that get in the way of us loving in full.
Gabe and Annette asked us to workshop these things and consider why they may be. But they also asked us to consider approaching the exercise with honesty and openness, to drop the guard whilst we talk about ‘dropping our guard’. Funny yet effective. The encouragement seemed to work as the group came up with a long list of barriers . . .
Fear & Intimidation
Stubbornness – pride
Fear of success
Fear of rejection
Judgement – “being judgy”
Not feeling equal
Creation of issues
“This list feels heavy and intense compared to how we were born, so we can see from this that we have put a lot of layers on to shield ourselves.” Gabe
“When you start receiving love you might be overwhelmed . . . when another is allowing their body to express it and you have to allow your body to receive it. Often we want to jump out of our body – that’s because we haven’t [built a foundation of love in our body yet],” said Gabe. “We freak out about how we’ve not loved ourselves as much as what is being offered,” added Annette.
But beneath it all, Gabe and Annette assure us, we have an immensely loveable heart emanating in its fullness. All we need to do is let the steel plate that encases it drop away so that we can return to a fuller, more meaningful life.
One of the biggest things stopping us from living love in full is that we don’t think we are deserving of all that love. Even if everyone around us is showing us the opposite of love there is no excuse – we do know it and we absolutely do deserve it. We don’t want to believe it is so simple because then we will have to stand out from everyone else who is not living their love in full, and if we stand out it won’t always be welcomed from others. As Gabe pointed out it’s not all roses when we start expressing our love in full: “When we feel amazing we really stand out and people can’t handle that. People clock you and it brings up stuff in people. It brings up jealousy and judgement and we have to deal with it.”
When that happens, we have to be honest – it doesn’t feel great when there’s an attempt to try to stop or block that love. That’s when we bring it back to purpose otherwise we can take on another’s hurts and make them our own. This just perpetuates the cycle of lovelessness in the world. Therefore, it’s actually a selfish act to not be all of our love because others don’t get the reflection they need to pull themselves out of their ‘not love’. Annette summed up beautifully what’s on offer if we stay in the fullness of our love, even when there is tension:
“We run a mile from confrontation – we hate it yet on the other side is always an opportunity – a massive expansiveness to love.” Annette
“In the moment of feeling judgement from another – how do you work through that . . . who’s going to make the first move . . . to work past something that is just a small layer of something and can be dissolved?” Gabe
“In the avoidance [our body] senses it as something huge to not deal with but if you become more willing the tension gets less and less . . . and [the process gets] more and more simple.” Annette
“Be curious, ask the questions, get to know each other on a deeper level. Ask: “what do you exactly mean by that?” Annette
Gabe and Annette shared that after 16 years together they still ask the simple questions if they don’t know precisely what the other means, and by doing so they say it leaves no room for misinterpretation.
Why does the detail matter so much to them? “The reason is we are constantly in the process of life,” said Annette, who went on to explain in all seriousness yet lovingly playful that if Gabe presumes she is the same as she was at 9am that morning there’s a potential for tension. Even though our essence remains the same, essentially, what Annette was saying is that we are each changing every moment of every day by virtue of the fact we constantly have new opportunities to evolve – or to think and act with a greater awareness. Any presumptions otherwise are expectations placed on us that don’t consider our whole being or multi-dimensionality – put simply, we can change or evolve in an instant.
“When you notice someone you love is withdrawing do you ask the person sincerely: ‘what is going on?’ Are you willing to ask the question: ‘how are you really?’ We know with the people we love when they go a bit off . . . you have to put effort into ignoring that.” Gabe
That question in itself is enough to stop us in our humble tracks to consider just how caring we are. Annette gave us a great metaphor to understand the effect that ignoring an issue has on us.
“It’s like you put your walking gear on and you notice you have a tiny pebble or piece of dirt in your shoe. Do you make the choice to continue on the walk and put up with it, or do you stop and forget about where you have to be and take the shoe off or even the sock if you need to, and shake it out? In our relationship we will always take the shoe and the sock off.” Annette
Why would they do this? Gabe says it’s “so that you can return to an open, non-protected heart.” Though she added that it doesn’t necessarily need to be expressed with words. This was the ‘different kind of purpose in relationship counselling’ that Neil was talking about in the introduction.
“What you can do is open your body to that person – walk around in your openness and your own vulnerability so they feel safe to be with you. If you can hold them in love you’re saying: ‘I know you’ve got stuff going on, but I can feel the love you have inside all of that and I’m holding you as an equal in there.’ It melts people . . . even the most hardened people can melt and come to you.” Gabe
The flip side however is: “if you’re in reaction and say. ‘I know something’s going on with you’ [said or thought in an arrogant or hardened way], just the fact that the other person has felt your body closed energetically they are not going to open up.” Gabe
So it’s about holding people with understanding with whatever stuff they are finding challenging in that moment, and allowing them to be whatever they are in without conditions or expectations of how they should be when they are with you.
“Part of living from our inner-heart is not reacting to other people’s reactions. Once you start to get a hang of that it’s amazing what it does to help you keep your body open.” Annette
Even the masters of relationships have moments when they don’t know what’s going on for themselves internally. Another tender and transparent sharing of the couple as they explained how they deal with such moments . . .
“We can pretend we don’t know but we do know . . . that’s when a bit of humility and surrender come in. We could say, ‘yes I’m in a bit of reaction . . . I know I am, but I don’t know what it is right now.” Annette
Gabe said that in those moments where she’s not sure what or why she’s feeling the way she does she goes to “be with someone that can ask the right questions in an understanding way . . . someone that you trust that you can let yourself be seen in that moment.”
“When you are really prepared to be seen then you can get to some of the list . . . to get to the understanding of why you get like this. After a while you dissolve the behaviour. But you won’t get there unless you’ve contemplated why you are like this. All you have to say is: I don’t know what I’m feeling but I have a willingness to get there . . . and your body will talk to you if you really do have a sincere willingness to get there. Your body will give you an impulse – a feeling.” Gabe
“The hurts can dissolve if you are prepared to be vulnerable and be raw with another person . . . you can get through it.” Gabe
So if, as Gabe suggested to us, our body will provide the flag or the know-how for what we need, how do we best utilise it to support our development in learning to connect more deeply in our relationships?
How fortunate we were to have a practical, tangible example presented to us by the gorgeous and seriously playful Beverly Carter.
Bev explained: “The body [offers] a way for us to truly allow the space to connect with the fullness of who we truly are.”
We were also shown how exceptionally simple it is to connect and use the body as a marker for where we are at. Are we aligning to what we know is true or are we choosing to stay in one of our hurts or hold onto our conditions?
Bev showed us how simple it can be with a short meditation: “All we did is breathe . . . all we did was connect to our body.” And wow could you feel the difference in the room afterwards.
The audience once again delivered . .
Having brought home the fact that we can’t love on a singular level – from a ‘me only’ or ‘me and one other’ perspective, our power couple asked us to describe what it looks like when we are not in our love . . . just to be sure we knew what we didn’t want.
It all comes back to the ripple effect and that wake up quote by Einstein: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
“It’s REALLY important that we are inclusive in our life . . . We segregate and we hold ourselves back . . . it’s so important to clock this. How often do we give ourselves permission to feel the fact that we are not that open and not expressing the glory of ourselves to another person, and we do ourselves such a disservice by doing that.” Gabe
“If one pocket of the world is having horrendous crimes against humanity happening we can change all that by relating one on one with our relationship to each other . . . we have to offset what’s going on out there because it’s intense. If you take one thing from today – go home and express the love you have for yourself to everyone. Imagine the ripple effect if we did that. Holding and living consistently the whole you is infectious . . . there’s nothing like expressing yourself freely and raw.” Gabe
“If you can build these qualities with one person – doesn’t matter who it is – if you can go to the depths with one person it builds trust and confidence [as opposed] to all the things we’ve layered up. If you can start to put it into practice with one person and be in true relationship with one person – as soon as you’ve mastered it 80% correct – you will notice you can then start to do that with other people. The thing is to appreciate it with that one and not focus on that you haven’t with the other 7 billion yet.” Gabe
“We’re going to leave this place more melted and we’re going to take that to everyone we see . . . we’re taking this quality of openness and love to everyone and that’s what we’re missing in the world – brotherhood. It has to start with one of us – taking it to that deeper place of vulnerability.” Gabe
“One person loving like that inspires another person to express it themselves which creates a oneness . . . we know we don’t have boarders and boundaries underneath it all.” Gabe
As the audience confirmed with their suggestions, we all know this. We all know we are capable of feeling oneness, inter-connectedness, brotherhood, harmony, unity, multi-dimensionality, equality, flow, understanding, love, space, co-creating with divinity, evolution, simplicity, universality, harmlessness, empowerment, joy, magic and wonderment.
“This is who we are . . . and yet the shield is what we are living. It’s actually about coming back to who we really are.” Annette
“Returning to a harmless way of being. It registers in our body first. We can choose to be aware of it or not be aware of it. That’s the name of the game - we have so much evidence around this that tells us something else. We can look at all the atrocities, but what is happening in your body? We can’t do anything about what’s going on in Syria right now but we can change what’s going in our body and our homes. It has to start with you.” Annette
“Any time you go to openness you are healing. Any time you go to offer the warmth of you, you are healing.” Gabe
“Take responsibility for yourself – know that you are transforming the world just by being who you are. You are very powerful.” Annette
And to close . . . we were gifted with the most confirming bundle of appreciation from these two amazing women . . .
“You can feel from the quality of the energy in the room that there is no reason on earth why we can’t be in love with people . . . look at another person and see divinity . . . their qualities of love. You [get to a point where you] can’t get enough of being in love with people.” Gabe
And with that, 80 plus ‘love bombs’ walked out of the room . . . ready to be in love with the world again.
By Nicki Ferguson