The passionate attachment between man and woman that is known as romantic love can generate the most profound ecstasy.  It can also generate, when frustrated, the most unutterable suffering.  Yet for all its intensity, the nature of that attachment is little understood.  To some who associate “romantic” with “irrational,” romantic love is a temporary neurosis, an emotional storm, inevitably short-lived, which leaves disillusionment and disenchantment in its wake.  To others, romantic love is an ideal that, if never reached, leaves one feeling one has somehow missed the secret of life. Looking at the tragedy and confusion so many experience in romantic relationships, many persons have concluded that the idea of romantic love is somehow fundamentally wrong, a false hope.  Romantic love is often attacked today by psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, who frequently scorn it as an immature, illusory ideal.  To such intellectuals, the idea that an intense emotional attachment could form the basis of a lasting, fulfilling relationship is simply a neurotic product of modern Western culture. Young people growing up today in century North America take for granted certain assumptions about their future with the opposite sex, assumptions that are by no means shared by all other cultures.  These include that the two people who will share their lives will choose each other, freely and voluntarily, and that no one, not family or friends, church or state, can or should make that choice for them; that they will choose on the basis of love rather than on the basis of social, family, or financial considerations; that it very much matters which human beings they choose and, in this connection, that the differences between one human being and another are immensely important; that they can hope and expect to derive happiness for the relationship with the person of their choice and that the pursuit of such happiness is entirely normal, indeed is a human birthright; and that the person they choose to share their life with and the person they hope and expect to find sexual fulfillment with are one and the same.  Throughout most of human history, all these views would have been regarded as extraordinary, even incredible. Only during the past nine or ten decades have some of the educated classes in non-Western cultures rebel against the tradition of marriage arranged by families and looked to the West and its concept of romantic love as a preferred ideal. Although in Western Europe the idea of romantic love (in some sense) has had a long history, its acceptance as the proper basis of marriage has never been as widespread as it has been in American culture.  As Burgess and Locke (1953) write in their historical survey The Family:  From Institution to Companionship, “It is in the United States that perhaps the only, at any rate the most complete, demonstration of romantic love as the prologue and theme of marriage has been staged.” Why the United States?  The answer, at least in part, is philosophical.  What was distinctive about the American outlook and represented a radical break with its European past were its unprecedented commitment to political freedom, its individualism, its doctrine of individual rights, and, more specifically, its belief in a person’s right to happiness here on earth.  Both the individualism and the secularism of this country were essential for the ideal of romantic love to take deep cultural root. Even now, in the midst of the rampant cynicism of so many people today, and notwithstanding the attacks on romantic love by American intellectuals, men and women continue to fall in love.  The dream dies, only to be reborn.  Moved by a passion they do not understand for a goal they seldom reach, men and women are haunted by the vision of a distant possibility that refuses to be extinguished. What, at its best, is the nature of that vision?  And what does its realization depend on?  That is the subject I wish to address.

Written by Lifebook Team Member Sandra Garest Written by Sandra Garest The 12 Categories of your life are profoundly connected. They all support each other and are supported by each other. That is why none of them can be left out, left behind, or left to chance. Our...

“What we do with our human experience is what determines how effective we are as spiritual beings.  We are far greater than we give ourselves credit for, and far more resilient, if we allow our spirits to flourish.” -Dr. Fabrizio Mancini Discover the incredible story of how internationally acclaimed philanthropist and self-healing expert Dr. Fabrizio Mancini awakened his spirituality, and find out how you can harness the powers of gratitude, contribution and unconditional love to heal your life and nurture your soul. [embed]https://s3.amazonaws.com/lifebook-member-cdn/audio/VIP/VIPContributors/2013+Contributors/2013.05-Interview-FabMancini.mp3[/embed] Click here to download the audio (right click and "save as")

BEFORE:

TJbeforephoto1 TJbeforephoto2 On October 31 I slept in. I wasn’t living my best life.  I wasn't intentional about what I was eating.  Derek and I took our kids out trick-or-treating.  I dressed up as Albert Einstein and Derek dressed up as my chalkboard with E=MC2 written on it.  We had a lot of fun as a family although I was in pain walking throughout the neighborhood.  I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection, Albert Einstein had a serious booty! I knew I was in costume but I hardly recognized the person staring back at me.  I had foot injury that lasted over a year and I wasn't able to exercise like I was accustomed too.  I wasn't able to walk without pain, it would keep me up at night.  I had so much inflammation in my body.   I was at the heaviest weight I have ever been weighing 175 pounds.  I wasn't running, dancing and playing with my kids like I had in the past.  I was drinking a beer every day, sometimes two.  I was harboring frustration and disappointment with a situation that happened 2 years prior with our kids school.  I was sometimes up in the night going over and over the details trying to understand what happened.  On November 1 everything changed. That day Derek and I committed to taking charge of our health and fitness.  This Lifebook challenge came at a phenomenal time in our life.  We had already made significant changes, but this solidified our commitment.

BEFORE:

Steffani Before Hi Fearless Lifebookers, I'm excited and READY to join you on this challenge. I've been working on my health and fitness a lot over the last 2 years and I'm now ready to really kick it up a notch. I tend to eat clean and workout hard and get to a low lean weight briefly and then the minute I get there I let go and climb up a bit. I realized this must be an upper limit problem and I'm ready to challenge myself to see just how good it can be. I've found its easier sometimes to change something that you're not happy with and really improve it, then it is to really improve on something that you're already happy with. To go from good to great so to speak. And I want to excel my health and fitness to an excellent category. I plan to do this by eating cleaner, no dairy AT ALL in January and a SUGAR FREE February. (Which I've never done before) I'm going to ramp up my workouts even more. And increase my green drinks and smoothies. I'd also love some accountability to meditate more regularly. I go through phases where I do and I don't and I'd love to make that a DO forever. (Any tips and suggestions I'd love to hear them) So thanks for being on this journey with me. I'm excited to witness all of your progress and use this challenge to propel my life forward. Thanks Damion for doing this! Let's rock!

BEFORE:

Rob Before
I am in and my wife Megan is too! Yet, I personally am taking a slightly different approach that may absolutely backfire or send us packing for San Diego!
I am utilizing ‘CHOICE’ as my tool for transformation, not a goal with the end in mind. Let me tell you why.
This past year... My father past, I inherited his business 5 states away, I signed on to be part of the largest undertaking in health care through my business, bought a new home, got married, honeymoon in Greece, sold 2 other houses, a business, my wife quit her job to follow her passion for starting up her own company, financial restructuring and Lifebook Ultimate.
Yet, after taking a breather for the last 2 weeks, we have a new chapter in our Lifebook that we have not fulfilled. That is to bring a beautiful child into this world. We know for certain we want to be at our optimal health physically, mentally, chemically and spiritually while doing so.

BEFORE:

Mike Before
I made two new years resolutions this year - 1. To be my best self 2. To not be habitually late. Well I'm late to the party again so I'll be making up for lost time to transform myself and become my best self in just 7 weeks!

Hello my name is Ron House, I am a 4 time Lifebook graduate.  I am engaged to Heather, we started dating shortly after we graduated our first Lifebook session in March 2008, and have been engaged for almost 6 years.  Even though we take pride...