I'm excited to announce that my new book, Hear Me Universe: How I Deliberately Attracted the Man of My Dreams, was published today, on Valentine's Day! I invite you to head on over to Amazon and download your personal copy. This Blog shares the story that inspired my book.  
In 2008, I read, “The Love List,” a personal essay in Oprah magazine by Alice Gorman.[1] Gorman, a successful business owner in her 50s, had quite a satisfactory life, except for one thing: she didn’t have a romantic relationship. Taking the advice of a psychic, Gorman wrote a list of the 100 characteristics she wanted in a life partner and, to her surprise, a man who matched the list almost exactly entered her life; they fell in love and eventually married. The day after I read Gorman’s article, I told my colleagues over lunch, “I’m writing my list.”
I began a list of 100 characteristics that I absolutely required in the partner I wanted. I declared my heart’s deepest desires of how I wanted to feel in a new relationship and named the file, “Hear Me Universe.”
At the time, I was forty-four. Three years previously, I’d ended a 22-year marriage and was on a journey to understand myself better and create my “new” life. I was unsure of the whole post-divorce 40s dating scene which had left me feeling confused and uncertain about the patterns I saw repeating in my relationships with men.
I now know that the list I made was my declaration of self-love. It described what I deserved in a relationship. It defined how I wanted to feel in a relationship. It was the first step in calling to me what I most desired to experience. My theory was that, if I had a clear vision of what I wanted—my ideal relationship—then I’d “see” it more obviously.
I tested this theory in a bunch of ways, with some disastrous results, but what I absolutely learned was this: every, single time I ignored my list to be in relationships where I did not feel whole, I experienced emotional pain. Every time I compromised—sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot—on how I truly wanted to feel, I conceded my own heart’s greatest desires.
Gratefully, something always happened to awaken me from the difficulty I’d created. Like the time I literally heard my inner voice speak to me during a yoga class when I was in a relationship that required too much compromise on my part. The class was not unlike so many others I’d been in before—a typical studio and teacher, filled with mats and women—yet the teacher’s words that day pierced my heart. The theme of the class was, “truth,” and the teacher’s repeated invitation was, “find your truth.” We moved in ways to activate our solar plexus, the third chakra of the human body responsible for emotions such as self-worth, self-esteem, and personal power. My movements combined with her words created a shift in me, empowering me to break off my untenable relationship that very day.
Yet, there was apparently more for me to learn, as that relationship wasn’t the last one in which I compromised my ideal. Before long, I was in a new relationship and had slipped back into familiar patterns of settling for less than I truly wanted. Fortunately, at this relationship’s end, I spoke words that I needed to hear: “I think I’m darned cool. I’m smart. I’m kind and caring. I’m interesting to be around. I have a lot to offer this world.”
I felt that I was speaking truth, and more importantly, I felt empowered to finally step out of old patterns. When I spoke these words about my own worthiness, I had truly shifted into a new belief about myself. Internally, I promised that I would never again choose a relationship that required me to compromise my deepest desires.
In late 2009, I met Craig, to whom I’ve been married for six years, on Match, the online dating site. Encouraged by a friend, I had signed up for Match only a couple of months earlier. The process of creating my profile felt like another opportunity to speak into my own worthiness. I wrote it with honesty and from an energy of knowing myself better than ever. I uploaded photos of me in which I looked content, peaceful, and happy--none of which were professionally taken. I wanted to be seen just as I am: often a little disheveled, rarely wearing makeup, and usually smiling.
My love list guided how I described my requirements for the person I wanted to meet on Match. I was specific, direct, and unbending in what I wanted. My approach was different from the general tips offered by dating experts, which usually encourage you to avoid having a mile-long list of must-haves. I ignored the cautions against having lofty, stringent expectations. My mindset was this: I am searching for one man and the clearer I am about who this man is, the more likely I am to find him. I wasn’t interested in dating a lot; I was calling in the one. My specificity resulted in only two suggested matches, and one was Craig.
I invited Craig to meet me for coffee, because I immediately saw in his online profile the many ways that he matched my love list; the “headline,” he had written on his profile was, “I Still Want It All.” Over coffee, I learned that “All” meant that Craig wanted the relationship that we all dream of--a best friend, a confidant, a beautiful lover, and a helpmate. I learned that, like me, Craig had been deeply reflective about his first marriage, about what he wanted in this life, and about his path to understanding that who you aspire to attract is equal to who you think you’re worthy of attracting.
A couple of weeks after our first date, as he was leaving Kentucky for a holiday trip, I gave Craig two things: a copy of the poem, “The Guitarist Tunes Up,” by English poet Frances Crofts Cornford, to express how I felt when he played the guitar and sang for me, and a copy of my love list.
I suggested that he save my list to read on the plane. I explained how the list came to be and how I felt he possessed a lot of the characteristics I desired. When Craig landed in California, he immediately called me from the airport to say he’d “scored a 98.”
Months later, Craig proposed to me by singing David Gray’s “Be Mine.” The lyrics spoke to my heart. I felt I was stepping fully into the life I had envisioned when I wrote my list to the universe, with no obstacles keeping me from the life I wanted.
Our years together have been a perfect environment for self-growth, self-acceptance, and self-discovery. Attracting Craig, who lives life with vision and optimism as well as compassion and kindness, has been truly magical. He is so much more than my list.
My book, Hear Me Universe, is based on my original list to the universe. Each of my 100 desired characteristics is offered one at a time along with the answers to two key questions: “Why did that description make the list?” and, “What did I truly desire when I wrote this item?” I also crafted 100 journaling prompts, one for each item on my love list, to inspire you to get crystal clear on your ideal match. 
I’m sharing my story, in hopes that my experience inspires you to align with the desires of your heart. What I know is this: the person you aspire to attract matches your vision of the person you believe you’re worthy of attracting.