The Love Mindset, An Interview With Vironika

100_0321a(Following is an interview with Vironika Tugaleva, author of The Love Mindset, inspirational speaker, people lover, reformed cynic, and the modern-day person’s guide to love and spirituality. She will help you love yourself, gain peace of mind, and trust your inner voice. You’re invited to read more about Vironika and get a free sneak preview of The Love Mindset here.)

Can you tell us why you wrote The Love Mindset?  It’s a transformational book about healing and you share some pretty heavy, even gut-wrenching stuff about being addicted and suicidal but then reaching the proverbial “jumping off point.”

While I was healing myself, I stood amongst  my broken pieces scattered around my feet.  Beneath the pain, I realized that I was still standing. I realized that I wasn’t those broken little pieces. I was something else.

I used to hate myself, but then I found a part of myself I couldn’t hate. In the end, it wasn’t myself I hated. I hated some mask, some illusion. Once I discovered my true self, I couldn’t help but feel love 680x485picand I couldn’t help but reach out and help other people find themselves too.

I can’t explain to you what it’s like to discover, after feeling broken for so long, a part of yourself that is more than intact; it can’t be broken. That’s a high I can’t explain. It’s like being hungry all your life and finally getting a piece of bread. Except it’s not food, it’s love. It’s a high that never goes away, a high you don’t have to buy because it’s within you.

Everything comes down to love, doesn’t it?  Why do people, especially folks with addiction, have such a hard time loving themselves?

Most people are stuck on one of two things. One, they don’t know that love is a life necessity. They, like I once did, say that love is rare or non-existent. Two, they don’t know what love is. They search for it with other people, and they always fall short.

It is a beautiful, comfortable, and kind of silly truth that all of our troubles originate from a misunderstanding about the nature of love. Love’s not a feeling or an action. It’s not a temporary phase, nor is it hard to get or rare. Love is always there. We just have to figure out how to open up to it.

In the book, you describe what you call “feeding the mind” as a part of healing from addiction.  Can you share what you mean?

You eat with your mouth, you breathe with your nose, and you love with your mind. This sounds strange, but. don’t we love with our hearts?

Technically, we don’t just eat with our mouths either. There’s an entire process of digestion that happens largely in the stomach and intestines. We don’t just breathe with our noses. The lungs do most of the work. Likewise, we don’t just love with our minds. The heart does the feeling part of love, while the mind, like the mouth and nose, acts as a gatekeeper.

A mind needs to be nourished with loving thoughts, about yourself, others, and life itself, and then it just falls open. When the mind allows love inside, then we get that feeling in our hearts. Like air in the lungs and food in our stomach, it’s a feeling we live for and die without.

What needs to happen in a person’s life before she or he can really experience self-love?  Do they have to reach the depths that you did?  Who needs to read your book?

My answer, now and forever, is a resounding No. We don’t need to hit rock bottom to change. We just need to make a decision.

I believe that, deep within, each “broken” person knows they can heal. Healing doesn’t happen when the people who hurt us apologize, or when those memories fade away. It doesn’t happen when our emotions suddenly disappear, or when we find a magic pill. Healing happens when we believe it will. It starts when we decide to heal or die trying.

And that’s who the book is for. It’s for a person who wants to find out, once and for all, how they can have a happy life and a healthy mind.

What’s the one thing you would say to people struggling to heal their lives?

I’d say – listen to your hope. There’s a little shred of hope in anyone who’s struggling. I know it’s in there, because I know what it’s like to face death and that’s the only thing that stands between life and death. The living have hope.

I’ve posted this on my blog and I’ll share it with you here. A few months ago I found a little note I wrote to myself as I was plummeting towards rock bottom. At the time, I was going through a profound crisis, feeling suicidal, self-destructive, and haunted by screaming thoughts in my head.

In a tiny moment of peace, I wrote this. Vironika

I think we all have these moments, from time to time. The key to healing is to realize that the pain isn’t reality – but hope is. Those moments of hope are your only moments of clarity, your only moments of really seeing what’s there. The hope is you. The pain is not.

Note: Vironika has generously offered to give away an e-book of The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and HappinessTo enter to win a copy, leave a comment below. You can enter until midnight PST on May 1st, 2014.

Title photo courtesy of jdurham

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  1. Christy Niefield says:

    I find Vironika’s perspective self love extremely encouraging – I read her messages daily to help set my own perspective for the day. I am still struggling with self forgiveness and love, but she is giving me that little bit of hope that I need. I am looking forward to reading her book over and over to help me heal.

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for writing in, Christy. Vironika’s perspective is refreshing, isn’t it? She tends to meet us where we are with no judgment and no shame. The rewards of self forgiveness and self love are many, so please keep at it!

      All the best to you!

  2. Becky Vance says:

    Such an interesting interview, Beth, and Vironika’s book sounds amazing. I like the idea of filling my mind with loving thoughts and knowing that love is ALWAYS there. It truly is a necessity-just as air and water. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Beth says:

      And thank you for writing, Becky. Yes, love is ALWAYS there because we are the love we desire. We need look no further. Keep filling yourself with good thoughts–gather them in like fruits and veggies from a well-tended garden–and good things will find a way to you. You deserve them!

  3. Vironika,
    You are a delightful discovery. This world needs more love. I only live by 4 words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS
    so I really resonate with your message.

    Keep shining your bright light! <3

    • Beth says:

      Hi William! Thanks for writing in response to Vironika’s interview. She’s amazing, isn’t she? Love your four-word motto!


  4. Kerry Bray says:

    I can completely relate to this interview Vironika-What you share really resonates with me. I would love to read your book- Thanks for being authentic and real and sharing your experiences. Kerry

  5. Farnaz says:

    I have been following Vironika fow a while now on facebook and her website. I would absolutely love to get a copy of her book!! She is so inspiring and gives so much hope!

    • Beth says:

      Hi Farnaz,

      So glad you stopped by! Isn’t Vironika amazing? We’ll keep our fingers and toes crossed that you win her book!

      B Well!

  6. Kerry Bray says:

    I completely relate to your journey! A lot of what you write resonates with me- I would love to read your book as I feel it would be of real value to me. Love and best wishes- Kerry

  7. Kerry Needs says:

    This book perfectly sums up my journey. For so long I have been studying consciousness, the mind, even setting up my own website on it. For almost 10 years I was an advocate of ‘positive thinking’, and waxed lyrical about mindset.

    But I had actually not looked into my own heart. I had buried some deep emotional pain from my parents messy divorce, and in turn did not love myself. I suffered like Vironika with severe social anxiety, which is the worst thing imaginable.

    But it was only when I started opening up, when I allowed myself to fully break down and open up to my own heart, that things began to change for me.

    I now know that the basis of life is love. Love for self that extends beyond the skin and touches others.

    Once you embrace who you are at your core, which is love, you see the world through new eyes. This is a very exciting time in humanity’s history!!

    • Beth says:

      Kerry, your words are so well stated! “Once you embrace who you are at your core, which is love, you see the world through new eyes.” Beautiful! That’s the real deal, isn’t it? No matter our past, what we’ve endured or experienced, when we square with it and see it as a part of our path to today, we can relax into today and know that we have the ability to create our own blessings.

      Thank you bunches for your thoughts and your presence in our heart space today. B Well!

  8. Rozanne says:

    I truly resonate with her words that there is a part of ourselves that is more than in tact – that can never be broken. I love her saying that Hope is the real part of ourselves.

    I myself came to discover that nothing, not even abuse could touch the deeper part of me that holds my strengths gifts and abilities. That part always lies there waiting for us to own it because that part of us is LOVE. This was such an inspiring article written by such a beautiful soul.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Rozanne,

      So glad you liked the interview with Vironika! Wow–love does wait, doesn’t it? Thank heavens for that! Here’s to owning every single ounce of love that we can possibly hold . . .

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