I’ve Just Had the Best Date of My Life (Details Included)Feb 23, 2016
When it comes to feeling beautiful, I was going for broke. Standing in front of my closet—which never has a shortage of clothes—I tuned into my mood and energy. Did I want skin-tight, or bohemian and flowy? Something short? Or maybe those new camel suede tights? Decisions.
Next stop: handbags and jewelry! Since I’ve recently reorganized and decluttered, picking out my favorite pretty pieces was totally painless and fast, granting me the time to choose the perfect pair of booties to slip onto my specially-pedicured feet. (And of course, no outfit ensemble is totally complete without music, Adele blasting in the background as I danced around and got dressed.)
Green paisley knee-length dress. White and gold jewelry. A classic black purse with gold hardware. And striking black lace booties featuring some completely ass-kicking heels. That was the easy part.
Because it was time to take myself on a first date.
Sometime during Terri Cole’s Real Love Course, the idea of taking myself out started as a seed, and has now sprouted into a stunning little flower that means I passed up a night at home with a mind-blowing meal, a bottle of red on the couch, and a few episodes of mindless TV and braved a night out on the town—totally alone.
Of course I was nervous. Of course I was. But after weeks of wanting to do this, talking to friends about it (so they could hold me accountable), and making the reservation, I knew I didn’t want to back down.
Before leaving home, I took some time to meditate and visualize how I wanted the night to go (calm, collected, enjoyable) and drove to the restaurant. Highly recommended by my foodie girlfriend, I walked into the beautiful Italian bistro hungry and hopeful.
The energy washed over me first, a low buzz of conversations among grinning groups and the clusters of couples. (And of course my eyes shot to the solo older brunette woman sitting comfortably at the bar. If she could do it, so could I, right?) I was led to the chef’s table, a place for 4 tucked away in a corner right by the kitchen. Real talk: the 3 empty chairs around me absolutely made me feel like an uncomfortable loser. I was dreading talking to the chefs all by myself, and was jokingly debating the merits in my head of hiding out in bathroom for an hour and then calling it a night.
Enter chefs Jordan and Louis. (I’ve changed the names to protect their privacy.)
Truth be told, I didn’t have more than a handful of short-lived seconds to feel uncomfortable. The chefs were warm, funny, and showed me a level of hospitality that totally induced the warm and fuzzies. People are so generous when you give them a chance, y’know?
Not only did I pick up a few cooking skills by sitting where the action was, but I was thoroughly pampered. After learning about the things I hadn’t tried before, Louis built me my very own tasting menu, sneaking a few teasers onto my plate while he cooked for the crowd. The host opened a new vintage red and insisted I have a complimentary glass (or two). And when the bill came, the appetizer cost was totally left off the tally. I was completely cared for, and so impressed.
But more important than the freebies was the magic. Since I’m usually caught up in conversations with my company or wiping off my lil’ guys’ messy mouths, it was so indulgent to mindfully taste each and every thing that showed up in front of me. I felt full, both physically and spiritually.
Whenever Louis or Jordan would stop in, we’d talk about how the food industry isn’t very female friendly, and how we had a friend in common. (Small world!) Both young newlyweds, I quizzed them on what makes marriage work, where they like to travel, what they like to eat, where they spend their time, how to live wholeheartedly, and being open.
Encouraged by the freeness of the talk, I asked Jordan if a lot of women come in alone to eat, and he reassured me I’m definitely not the only one, though I am the only Indian woman to ever dine at their restaurant alone. What is it about our Indian culture that prevents women from seeking out solo adventures, especially when it comes to something as intimate as treating ourselves to fine dining? I’ve been pondering on it ever since.
Needless to say, my night ended with heartfelt hugs and immense gratitude as I said my goodbyes and promised to be back again with my entire brood of 3 boys in tow. I can’t wait to introduce my boys to the chefs and recreate what I loved most about my night—connection, warmth, love, and laughter.
Of course I’ve learned that taking myself on a date and dining alone isn’t terrible and lonely. (The exact opposite, exactly!)
But more so, this just demonstrates how clear it is that the energy you put out into the world is the energy you’ll attract and get back. If I’d shuffled into the restaurant feeling sorry for myself and wishing for something else, I never would have had the kind of night I did.
Along those same lines, when you love yourself the same way you’d love a lifelong partner, you’ll attract the right kind of love. Genuinely, it really is the most powerful change you can make in yourself.
Before I left for my hot, hot date (with myself), I pulled an oracle card from one of my favourite decks, Kuan Yin Oracle. “Switch on your inner light to a higher voltage. Can you allow for that joy to be such a normal, ordinary occurrence, that it could be a part of your life right now?”
That’s it. That’s exactly what I was creating that night, without even realizing it. I was letting the joy show.
Have you ever taken yourself on a date, or would you? How’d it go? Comments, stories and other strategies for switching on that light can be jotted in the comments or passed to me over email! I’m dying to hear how you’re going to brighten your inner light and love life all that much more. ❤