Our society is obsessed with romantic love. It’s wonderful and magical until it’s terrible and awful, depending on what phase of a relationship (or lack thereof) you’re in. I recently talked to manifestation advisor and founder of To Be Magnetic, Lacy Phillips about relationships and how they can be a great tool for personal growth in that they illuminate the areas we most need to grow.
Lacy’s work centers around teaching people how to become more magnetic and authentic by helping them grow their self-worth. Seeing the dynamics of people in relationships helped her to identify the energetics around the manifestation formula she works with now (which is unique to the mainstream pop new age rhetoric). Grounded in neuroscience and psychology, her work centers around the belief that our subconscious beliefs dictate the lives we lead. She’s helped so many people in the area of relationships that it eventually became her specialty when she was taking clients for one-on-one advising.
Here, Lacy and I speak about all aspects of romantic partnerships — from people in relationships to people yearning to be in relationships, and everything in between.
Katie Dalebout: You’ve said that relationships are mirrors to reflect where we need to grow, our worthiness, and authenticity. Can you talk about how you figured that out?
Lacy Phillips: Any relationships we have in our life are a representation of what was imprinted in our subconscious when we were small. Anything from the relationship modeling that we picked up to media modeling, societal teachers, peers… everything. Relationships are the best medicine for the seeker who’s really looking to grow quickly.
KD: There’s such a richness to seeing areas that we need to grow through the eyes of a loving partner. I think we can look at relationships and be like, “Well, I have so much I need to learn and grow and change. I can’t be with someone until I do this work on myself.” But you CAN be doing work while in a relationship. You just need a partner who can have patience with you.
LP: There’s a lot of rhetoric around “Be the thing you want to attract.” I believe in a very different model, however. I believe in expanders through mirror neurons. We never ultimately reach that ideal version of ourselves — at least very few of us do — we’re always a work in progress. I want to tell that person who’s out there, who’s on Bumble and trying to date, or in a relationship that’s abusive and not serving them, you don’t need to be whole and perfect to attract your person.
KD: How do you breathe new life into a relationship that’s feeling stagnant or gotten into bad patterns? How can you be in the messiness of growth without your partner losing patience in you?
LP: Take all of the expectations off the partner, and start to actually turn the mirror back around on yourself. I think it’s the best thing for a relationship. When we start to surrender and just accept our partner fully for who they are — when we stop placing expectations on them and instead, work on ourselves — it allows for polarity in a relationship again. Esther Perel talks about this a lot. When we lived in villages, we had community and relied on our partners very little. We didn’t rely on them to be our therapist, our best friend, our co-worker… and now, we do. And that sucks intimacy out of a relationship or dulls it. It takes a little bit of time for that course correction, but it breathes a lot of new energy into a relationship.
When we stop having expectations on each other or a future projection and we can really just accept each other and stay in our lanes, I think a lot of freshness can come from that.
KD: I think the easier thing sometimes is to walk away and start over and be like, “Well, this just isn’t the relationship for me.” But then I think, “Well, all of this shit will come up in my next relationship,” because wherever you go, there you are.
LP: If it has any toxicity, meaning abuse or someone who is narcissistic or making you feel small, there’s a chemical imbalance. It’s a whole different type of reframing if you should keep at something or not. But if you aren’t 100% sure that you should go, stay. You will wake up one morning and it will hit you, where it’s like, “I’ve got to go. It’s time to go. This has been sucked dry.” You’ll always have that breaking point or you’ll fall in love with someone else or something will happen. Until that point, there are so many lessons you’ll reap that you won’t then replay in another relationship.
KD: Yeah, with society and social media, we only see the good parts of relationships. I’m not posting when I’m sobbing over my boyfriend, I’m posting the beautiful tender moments. What about when it is time to end a relationship — what post-breakup self-care tips are helpful?
LP: Well, number one is you will never be more magnetic than you are when you leave a relationship that’s no longer serving you. To the person who knows it’s time to go and they’re afraid or they’ve just been broken up with, this is the time to harness manifesting. When you honor your breaking point — even if it’s delayed because you’re afraid to be alone or you’re afraid to go through the process or you’re financially connected or whatever it might be — once you’re able to do it, magnetism will set in. The self-care that’s instrumental during heartbreak is to feel all of your feelings fully. A really good book for that is called Letting Go. It’s simple, but it really shows how to feel your feelings so that they move through you and don’t become repressed or turn into resentment. By overcoming your fears and stepping into this more powerful, whole version of you is going to attract another relationship that’s of a higher caliber.
KD: When mourning a relationship that has ended, what advice do you have for reflecting on what you can learn from the relationship?
LP: Feel your feelings fully — it’s going to be a rollercoaster of different spectrums of emotion. But essentially, I quiet all of the thoughts in my brain so that I can be present. (Literally, get rid of everything.) I move my attention to my heart and it’s as if I’m opening up my heart or my stomach, either of them. It’s like I’m kind of pushing out all the things coming up, but not intellectualizing what I’m feeling. When it comes to the real emotions, they’re far more vast than intellectualizing can even comprehend. What I love about Letting Go is when the author says that most things that overcome you — if you don’t avoid them, if you don’t repress them, if you just initiate and feel them all the way — will usually pass in under 30 minutes. And then it’s one layer less of the onion that’s processed and gone.
KD: Let’s talk about the other end of that spectrum. In a new relationship — let’s say that exciting time of less than six months — how do you let go and trust?
LP: We have a whole workshop on that called “UNBLOCKED Partnership” that’s actually very simple, affordable, and easy.
When you manifest the person you’ve been calling in consciously or unconsciously, it’ll just sort of fit like a glove.
That doesn’t mean your insecurities won’t ever come up. Because the moment things get more serious or intimate, even slightly, feelings are involved and all of our shit comes up — all our shadow, fears, and insecurities. We realize we could be hurt or abandoned by the person that we’re getting to know or falling in love with. Do your shadow work around this. When insecurities come up don’t waste that energy — work through it.
KD: A common fear around dating is that we won’t meet anyone, or that, when we have met someone, it will feel fickle. Can you talk about that block in meeting people?
LP: I think the best two things people can do is go out and expose yourself to expanders — whether that be in movies, on TV, social media, or if you have a group of friends (or parent’s friends) that are married. You need to show your subconscious the type of relationship you desire. This will be helpful when blocks or insecurities come up, and will show you how to see and believe. It sets a standard that hopefully you won’t settle for less than what you want, and it shows you that it’s possible. You need to create that space in your subconscious in order to have space for it to come through. Also, you need to be working on your self-worth.
KD: Valentine’s Day is close to your birthday, does it have extra meaning for you? What are your thoughts on the holiday?
LP: Pre being in a relationship, I viewed Valentine’s Day as another day to nurture myself… now I just have another person to do that with. I made the holiday a day for reflection on “How can I treat myself better?” I like art and going to see plays. I don’t get caught up in the commercialism of it or where it stems from — I just kind of made it my own ritual.
Katie Dalebout is a writer, host, and founder of Let [a podcast] Out a workshop that helps people DIY podcast. Since 2013, she has interviewed over 250 people on her long-form interview show, Let It Out. In 2016 she published her first book, Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling, which is a collection of personal essays and journaling prompts. Today she writes about her feelings in her monthly Let It Out Letter. Katie, her feelings, and all of her plants live together in Manhattan.