Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of this series!
It is a delight to introduce you to Vironika Tugaleva.
Here is an excerpt from Vironika’s about page:
For years, Vironika was isolated, cynical, self-destructive, and always wary of trusting people too much. With the same fiery passion that she now uses to spread love in the world, she ran herself down to a mental breakdown at the age of 23. At the bottom of a deep, dark hole, she found the true meaning of love.
From that day forward, Vironika embarked on a life-changing journey of self-discovery, healing, and epiphany. On that path, she discovered that most of the suffering we endure is deeply connected to how much love we’re receiving.
“The solution is love,” she says, “But the problem is that most of us don’t know what love is or where to get it. We think it comes from other people and, thus, we suffer. So much pain in our world could be cured by the simple understanding that love comes from within.”
Her teachings, including her new book The Love Mindset, show us how we can transform our minds, our relationships, and the world by simply changing the way that we think about ourselves, each other, and this beautiful thing we call love.
Vironika believes that all of us can heal and be happy, if we’re only willing to discover who we are, what we need, and what we’re capable of.
I recently discovered Vironika’s powerful and enlivening message when she went on “blog tour” with her book The Love Mindset. From the first interview I read, on, I have been “hooked”. Several of my peers interviewed Vironika – what impressed me about that is each interview was fresh and new, thorough and inspiring.
I asked Vironika to participate in this series and she readily agreed. I am so *glad*! To give you a sense of Vironika’s energy, here is a short video speech from her book launch: “The Secrets of Happiness”.
If you are unable to view the video in this space, please click here to watch it on Youtube.
Here are Vironika’s answers:
1. What is your definition of love?
It seems like such a simple question, and yet this is what keeps many people from true love. Defining the word gets in the way of understanding. Language is an enemy of truth.
We only have the word “love” because we once needed to label a feeling. The feeling of love is what we get when we’re open to something that’s always available.
That source of infinite, never-ending, powerful energy could be called anything. It has been called God, Prana, life energy, the universe, the now, and a dozen other things. It is what is already here.
Simply by calling it something, we belittle it.
2. What does it feel like when you are connected with love?
You feel like air. You lose your outline.
Allowing yourself to connect with the love that’s already all around you, you simply fall into your place in the grand scheme of things.
Sometimes, that will make you feel blissful, powerful, and peaceful. Other times, it will make you cry and hurt you deeply.
Your reaction to letting go will always be defined by the ways you’ve been holding back.
3. In your opinion, why would one choose to close to love? From that closed space, what is one practice or step a person could take to open to love again?
It’s important to understand that we close our minds first. Always our minds first. The heart comes after.
If we’re not paying attention, some little thought sneaks in like “Oh, my thighs will never be perfect and so I’m disgusting”. Next thing you know, you’re becoming irritated at everyone and you don’t know why. Everything is related.
Just like a tree cannot accept sunshine if you water its roots with tar, we cannot open to love if we water our minds with thoughts of disempowerment and shame.
The way out is to remember yourself. Really, that is what opening to love is. It’s remembering yourself.
When you love someone, they help you relax enough to remember yourself. When you give someone love and it’s received, you’ve just helped them let go enough to remember themselves. So, remember yourself.
Closing off will happen, again and again. You can’t choose to remember yourself in those moments if you don’t make a practice of it in every other moment in your life.
Commit yourself to discovering who you really are. That will help you deal with forgetting.
4. How do you choose to cultivate love?
This is another of those pesky language things, but I don’t think we need to cultivate love. Love is endless, eternal, and ever-present. I do choose to cultivate a love mindset. This is when I water my mind with thoughts of spiritual truth in order to make sure that my heart is open to the love all around me.
Our emotions are like fruits on a tree. You cannot change rotten fruits by doing anything to the fruits themselves. When the tree is healthy, the fruits are naturally healthy.
I keep myself healthy and give myself what I need. Then, loving awareness as well as feelings of powerful love for myself and others come naturally.
5. May you share an experience of receiving unconditional love?
I think the first time I really experienced unconditional love was from myself. I wasn’t always a spiritual teacher. I was a self-hating, self-destructive addict with a grudge and a vengeance. All I knew how to do was measure and judge myself, and the world. It got me far in school, but it destroyed me.
I had a mental breakdown at the age of 23. I had to choose whether I was going to change my life or die. Choosing to change led me on a journey of realizing just how badly I hated myself. I faced my own self-loathing until it, quite suddenly, turned to powerful, unconditional love.
One day, after weeks of pain facing myself and my shame, I was shocked to see a goddess staring back at me in the mirror. Then, I went out and everyone was like that. Everyone was beautiful, amazing, and powerful. I’d never seen people that way.
I’d never seen how amazing I was and so I’d never seen how amazing other people are. When I awakened to me, I awakened to reality.
After that, the feeling has never been absent for long. Unconditional love is a way of life for me. It is a state of mind. It is my mission, my fuel, and my purpose. I give and receive it just by existing.
6. What would you like us to know about love?
I think the most important thing I can ever tell you is that you don’t need anyone to give you love. Love is a basic necessity and, like all other basic necessities, you can (and must) get it for yourself without anyone helping you.
We live in a society where needing someone to help you breathe or eat qualifies you as having a disability, but needing someone to love you in order to feel loved is quite common.
It’s madness and it’s got so many of us starving for love.
Love deprivation is a sickness. It kills us. We either passively submit, like a tree wilting slowly from a lack of sunlight, or we actively resist, like a fish ripped out of water. This is where depression and anxiety come from. This is where most mental health problems come from. This is where most addictions and acts of violence come from.
Learning to get love on your own is as important as learning to walk. It is something that I am so happy to see people are now exploring and allowing themselves to ask questions about. It is a lesson I will teach for the rest of my life.
Vironika Tugaleva is an author, speaker, people lover, reformed cynic, and a different kind of spiritual teacher. She helps people heal their minds and discover their inner strength. You’re invited to read more about Vironika and her inspiring book The Love Mindset.
Vironika’s book is available on Amazon and you may also get a sneak preview of the first 30 pages on the book website at www.thelovemindset.com.
You may connect with Vironika via these links:
Thank you, Vironika!
Dear Reader, Vironika states: “Commit yourself to discovering who you really are”. What is a practice, technique or way of being that you use/vest presence to *discover you*. Are you open to discovering you – may you share a bit about your discovery experience? (when you share, you inspire)
Thank you for your presence!
Much peace and abundant love,
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