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This past weekend I attended a beautiful wedding in Napa with a friend who needed a last minute date. Since I did not know the couple personally, I had very little information other than the schedule of events. The itinerary was fairly standard for a wedding weekend; yet there was something different about this particular wedding that was unlike any other wedding I have been to…

There is a significant age difference between the bride and groom. She is in her mid forties and he is in his late sixties. Now you may be falling into the stereotypical thinking that he must be rich and she must be gorgeous. Those external facts are accurate AND she is very successful in her career and he is handsome, intriguing, and incredibly kind.

But the age difference is not the differentiating factor about this wedding that really struck me. It was the incredible unconditional love and acceptance I noticed between the bride and groom. Their age difference became invisible as soon as I saw them together. The connection, affection, mutual respect, and the energy that was created whenever they were in each other’s presence was contagious – and extremely romantic!

I am guessing that as a young woman, the bride did not dream about marrying someone that is 20+ years older. Yet when she said in her vows, “I feel the most me when I am with you,” it became crystal clear that she had the courage to follow her heart, rather than just an idea in her head. She was open to letting sensational love in even if it did not come in a traditional package.

My question for you today is: what are you not open to letting in your life because you are overly attached to the package you’d like it to come in?

Perhaps you have a list of all the qualities you’d like to attract in a partner, a job, a friendship, or some other situation which is great in terms of getting clear on what you value and what’s important to you. However, I challenge you to really let go of this list and be open to the Universe bringing to you what truly is the best fit for you. Often we have an idea in our head of what we want, seeing through tunnel vision and potentially not seeing what is to our left or right that may truly be sensational.

It’s time to let go of the list.

Does that feel a little scary? It’s natural if it does. Surrender can be terrifying! So here is a great compromise that will sooth your mind and is a supportive tool. Make a list of your non-negotiables when it comes to anything you want in life. Take the example of a romantic relationship. What are the qualities your potential partner must have in order to feel like he or she shares your top values? For example, non-negotiables could include: being open/on a spiritual path of some kind, health and well being (no active addicts), he/she values family, kindness, financial responsibility, etc.

I encourage my clients to come up with their core deal-breakers and then approach everything with an open heart and open mind. The person or opportunity that is most suitable for you may not come in the package you thought. Are you willing to see through eyes of love instead of focusing on the bullet points on your checklist? Focus on what you’d like to experience rather than what it looks like from the outside. Don’t be stubborn when it comes to manifesting and co-creating!



Christine Hassler supports individuals in discovering the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” Christine grew up in Dallas, graduated cum laude from Northwestern University and received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She is now a Life Coach with a counseling emphasis specializing in relationships, career, finances, self-identity, personal and spiritual growth. Her expertise is centered on the twenty and early thirty something years of life. Christine has authored two books: Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and The Twenty-Something Manifesto. As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.

Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program, which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. Beginning this fall, Christine will serve on the faculty of the University of Santa Monica.

You can connect with Christine on Facebook, through Twitter or at her website.