Reality of relationships
POLLYANNA Darling makes her living coaching people how to attract a partner or improve an existing relationship.
After reading Pollyanna Darling's recently released book The Relationship Revelation - It's All You, I decide I need to investigate further, so I meet the Mullumbimby-based author at a local cafe.
I am immediately struck by Pollyanna's obvious intelligence and eloquence. While Pollyanna is clear that she is not a psychologist, she believes she was qualified to write the book based on her own experiences and her extensive research as an Intuitive Life Coach.
"I've coached many people for several years now and I have researched and documented their beliefs and how they play out, specifically to their relationships," she says.
Pollyanna claims her secrets aren't so secret - anyone can improve their love life.
"Whether you are in a relationship or want to increase the passion, the same principles apply," she says.
Drawing from her own life experience, Pollyanna confides that, "Until I learned to use my intuition and cultivated the courage to go beyond my fear, I was living a life that was far from satisfying," she says.
"It looked great from the outside; I had a good job, three lovely children and a relationship that looked like it was working. But inside, I felt empty and unfulfilled, my relationship was far from happy and I kept coming back to the same question: Surely there's more to life than this?"
According to Pollyanna's book there are a few major misconceptions that most of us labour under when it comes to relationships.
First, we think it's all about them. As in; they're not giving us enough attention, they're not behaving in ways that we want them to, and mostly, they're not making us happy.
Pollyanna emphasises the main premise described in her book is; You are entirely responsible for everything that takes place in your relationship.
But, according to Pollyanna, much of what we create is done unconsciously and consequently, "most of us are creating crap," she says.
That's because, Pollyanna says, most of us have what she terms as "underlying assumptions"; that is, self-limiting beliefs.
The most common of these include; I'm not good enough or I don't deserve. Pollyanna describes these as, "Beliefs stemming from childhood wounds. They are simply stories we made up to survive and explain whatever pain we encountered as a child," she says.
But here is where Pollyanna differs from many other self-help models. Pollyanna's suggestion is these underlying assumptions can't really be changed and any attempt to do so, or to resolve the tension that living out these beliefs creates, is a waste of time and completely the wrong thing to focus on.
"Many of us," says Pollyanna, "are addicted to negative feelings, at least unconsciously and probably because; sadly it's what we are used to." The other mistake we make according to the book is we collude with our well-intentioned friends who back up our sad stories as true. Hence we constantly create more of the same by focusing on it.
So if that's the problem, what's the solution? The second part of The Relationship Revelation book is How to Create the Relationship of Your Dreams.
Pollyanna suggests you put your thinking aside and rely on an entirely different skill set; your intuition.
"Your intuition," says Pollyanna, "can be accessed through mediation and is the voice of your heart - your infinite creative being as opposed to your limited self, full of underlying assumptions, stories based on your wounds."
Tim Loughnan, psychologist and Family Therapist enthusiastically praises Pollyanna's approach in his book review as, "She (Pollyanna) offers us a method, through intuition, to step beyond these stories and create the relationships that we truly love..."
To do this, there are various meditations uploaded on Pollyanna's website that specifically guide the reader to meet their soul partner, to find your existing partner's true nature (as opposed to what annoys you about them!) and to visualise the relationship of your dreams and the action you need to take to create this relationship.
Most of us have entrenched thinking and it takes focus and determination to change how you habitually think. It also takes a leap of faith to swallow the premise that it's all about you. Pollyanna agrees. "I know, it's against what most of us think. But you don't have to understand electricity to have it work in your life. I'm just suggesting that you play with the premise, that it's all you and try it for a while and notice what results you get. You could be very pleasantly surprised."
While Pollyanna's concept of "It's all You" is simple, it's not necessarily easy.
Most of us are used to looking at our partners and holding them responsible for how we feel - whether that is good or bad.
To think that it's not really them and to turn the focus back on ourselves, can be a challenge to say the least. Or as Mandy Nolan put it in her review of the book, "Oh my God, I've been going out with myself all the time. No wonder it was such a disappointment!"