While I was traveling in Bali earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Persia Lawson… and right away I knew I *had* to have her share some of her expertise with readers of The Budget Savvy Bride! Persia Lawson is co-author of ‘The Inner Fix’, a motivational speaker and a love coach. Having once been a serial cheater + obsessive love addict, she’s proud to now be in a healthy, committed relationship and is passionate about helping women attract (and keep) their own soulmate in the chaos of the modern dating world. But wait… most of y'all are already engaged to your soulmates, right? Well, Persia's advice is so relevant no matter what stage of singledom or coupledom you may find yourself in.
Trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and addiction studies, Persia has supported thousands of women (including some well-known celebrities) in radically transforming all aspects of their lives, gaining her the status of “irreverent British guru” by Marie Claire magazine and being described by Sadie Frost as “refreshingly honest, raw + relatable”. Her work has featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, You magazine, The Telegraph, The BBC and The Evening Standard, among others, and she regularly writes and consults for online dating site E-Harmony. Check out my interview with Persia below:
Most of our readers have already met “the one” and are currently planning their weddings! While many people may think the hard work is done in attracting their ideal mate, I'd love for you to share your advice, tips, or tactics for maintaining and sustaining a good relationship while in the stressful throes of wedding planning and beyond!
OMG – this is VITAL: Remember why you’re having this wedding in the first place: because you LOVE this person that you’re about to marry, and you want to make a declaration of this love in front of all the other important people in your life.
It’s SO easy to lose sight of this in the craziness of wedmin, but the key to make the journey to the event feel the way you want the event itself to feel – for both yourself and your partner.
The following exercise is inspired by the brilliant Canadian author Danielle La Porte.
How do you want to FEEL on your wedding day? E.g. Loved? Abundant? Excited?
When you’re clear, note down a few small, simple actions or activities that you can carry out daily that will help you to generate each of those feelings within yourself.
So, if you want to feel loved on your wedding day, what action could you take today to help you feel loved? Perhaps that looks like having a long candlelit bubble bath with a herbal tea or glass of wine, or buying yourself some flowers each week (remember that you feeling good is going to have a significant impact on how your other half feels, too!)
What’s important is that you invest in enjoying the process of creating this special day for you, your partner and all the people you love – rather than being overly focused on the event itself being perfect (because that’s a sure way to land yourself in crazy town!)
Also, adopt a mindset of surrender – take the necessary actions around wedding planning, but don’t get too attached to how the wedding itself looks – again, focus more on how the journey towards it FEELS, and if something doesn’t go to plan, just let it go! It really isn’t that important.
What is important is how much you and your partner love each other – bit of a cliché, but it really is the truth.
What would you say are the three key features of a soulful relationship?
Without a doubt I’d say it’s:
- Intentional growth. Having a mutual intention to keep growing and evolving as a couple – and as two individuals, also. Because, if we’re not moving forward and making progress, we become stuck and stagnant. This is one of the biggest problems I see in the women who come to work with me that are already in a relationship, but struggling to maintain it.
- Communication. I’ve had to work reeeeeally hard myself to be honest about my feelings, desires and boundaries with my partner Joe – rather than falling prey to what a lot of the women I work with also battle with, which is passive aggression! It’s so important to remember that your partner is not a mind reader; it’s not their job to decipher your thoughts and feelings, it’s your job to express them in a calm, mature and respectful way.
- Fun! I know this sounds kind of obvious, but you’d be shocked by how many people tell me that, although they love their partner deeply, they don’t have anywhere near as much fun with them as they used to in the early months of dating. My partner Joe and I make having fun a non-negotiable part of our relationship. Seeing as we met and fell in love at a festival, we’ll always go to two or three festivals a year to help re-generate that spark of romance and excitement, and we’ll also book in as many mini-breaks as we can – even if that just looks like going to visit his family in the countryside; breaking from normal routine is what keeps our relationship alive.
How can couples infuse more soul into their current relationship?
Firstly, have a conversation with each other about what core values are really important to you as a couple (e.g. fun, passion, culture/ travel, creativity etc) – and then schedule in weekly, monthly and annual activities that will help you to experience those things on a more consistent basis.
For example, Joe and I feel really connected when we play music together (he plays guitar, I sing), so several times a week, we light candles in our living room, burn some incense, put all technology away and have a good old-fashioned jam (can you tell we’re total hippies?!?!)
If you both value culture, schedule in time to visit a local exhibition or museum – or take turns to plan a mini-trip away every quarter. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just has to be a break from your normal routine. After all, if you can be a budget savvy bride, you can also be a budget savvy mini-trip planner 😉
You've written a lot about self-love both in your book and on your blog. What self-love habits or tips do you have for brides who are in the midst of wedding planning craziness?
Taking good care of yourself is soooo important when it comes to successfully executing anything stressful, such as a wedding.
Make sure you’re prioritizing all the basics – 8 hours sleep, lots of water, regular exercise, eat foods that nourish you, surround yourself with people that love and support you – all of these steps are crucial if you don’t want to find yourself becoming a frazzled bridezilla!
And when it comes to loving yourself through this process, remember that you’re about to make a lifelong commitment, so you’re bound to feel a little fearful and panicked at times. Be kind to yourself, speak to someone you trust about any anxiety you may be having, and above all else – keep it in the day! Yes, there’s a lot to do, but you don’t have to get it all done in 24 hours. Make a plan that’s manageable, delegate where you can and as I mentioned above, leave some space to actually enjoy this process – you’re only going to be doing it once (hopefully!)
Any other words of wisdom for our newlyweds-to-be?
This may be quite unexpected advice, but remember that weddings can be quite triggering for a lot of people (aside from the bride and groom!)
I’ve had the experience of being a bridesmaid only weeks after coming out of a break-up, and whilst I was so happy for my friend getting married, it also shone a light on the fact that I wasn’t – I was nowhere near it, in fact (remember the episode in Friends where Rachel steals Monica’s thunder on the night she gets engaged – this is totally a real thing!)
So, whilst you absolutely should enjoy the process of your wedding, it pays to be compassionate towards the people who may be feeling (or acting) a little weird around your impending nuptials. They’re not meaning to hurt you, weddings just bring up lots of emotions for people.
I also HEARTILY recommend checking out my free video love-training series whilst it’s out (which is only until the 9th May).
Whilst it’s mainly focused towards women who are single and looking to attract their future husband, there’s a ton of useful advice in those three videos that will help you maintain a healthy, happy romantic relationship in the midst of wedding planning craziness.
Everything that I share in those videos I still very much practice inside of my own relationship today – which is why we’re still going strong and our love keeps on getting deeper.
Why not play the series in the background while you’re making your budget savvy party favors – it’s all about the multitasking when it comes to weddings, after all 😉
You can access the free 3 part love-training video series below:
Video 1: The Three Qualities You MUST Possess To Attract Your Soulmate
Video 2: Four Common Mistakes That Are Destroying Your Chances of Finding Love (+ how to avoid them)
Video 3: The Blueprint: Seven Steps To Getting The Best Relationship of Your Life