Living your passions is about connecting with the things you love in your life. The Sufi poet, Rumi, described what’s required to do that when he said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” For most people, finding and connecting with a special person to whom we often give the name soul mate is a central part of living their passions.

Arielle FordArielle Ford has not only manifested the love of her life for herself, but is the author of The Soulmate Secret to show all of us how to do the same thing. She has mastered the art of making things happen. She is the director of affiliate marketing for Gaiam Corporation, the lifestyle company, and a founding partner of Spiritual Cinema Circle, now owned by Gaiam. Prior to January 2004, Arielle had developed much renown as the head of her own PR firm, the Ford Group, which she founded in 1987.

Arielle helped launch the careers of Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfied and Mark Victor Hansen-the co-creators of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Neale Donald Walsch, the author of
Conversations with God. She has also handled publicity for Wayne Dyer, Dean Ornish, Debbie Ford, Gary Zukav, Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, Joan Borysenko, Don Miguel Ruiz, Kenny Loggins and many other notable authors, 11 of whom became number-one New York Times bestsellers.

Arielle is the co-producer of Deepak Chopra’s “The Happiness Prescription,” a new PBS pledge show that aired nationally in March, 2008, and is being distributed on DVD by the Gaiam Corporation. In addition to her work as a book strategist and publicist, Arielle is the author of six books herself, including
The Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul series and, of course, The Soulmate Secret: Manifest the Love of Your Life with the Law of Attraction.

She is also the creator of “The Soulmate Kit: How to Prepare to Manifest to Meet Your Soulmate,” which we’ll talk more about before we close tonight. Arielle lives in La Jolla, California, with the love of her life, her husband, Brian Hilliard. In her spare time she raises money for, reads historical thrillers, loves traveling to India and exotic locales, and truly believes there is enough love in the world for everyone.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Arielle, thank you so much for being with us tonight. It’s such an honor and a privilege to be with you.

ARIELLE FORD: Thank you, Chris. I’m happy to be here.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Arielle, let’s begin at the beginning. We like to really understand what the passion is that drives our guests; so would you describe for us how your passions, the things you care most about, led you to end up writing The Soulmate Secret?

ARIELLE FORD: It’s kind of a long story. I never woke up one day and said I was going to write a book called The Soulmate Secret. What happened-let’s start at the beginning-was in 1984 I moved from Florida to Los Angeles. On the plane ride out, I read a book called Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, and I’m sure you’re familiar with that book.

That book was a revelation to me, so I followed the directions on how to visualize and manifest. As soon as I got to LA, things started to pop. I needed a job; I got a job. I needed a great place to live; I not only got a great place to live, I manifested a roommate who insisted on doing all the cooking and cleaning.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Now that’s what I call real manifestation!

ARIELLE FORD: Yes! I wasn’t even asking for that and I got that. The universe just knew I needed that, so that was pretty cool. Over the years I learned a few more techniques, and I became really good at manifesting. Somewhere about 15 or so years later, I suddenly realized that here I was in my early 40s and not much was happening in my love life. I thought, “I wonder if this stuff will work on that, as well?”

At the same time I was wondering about that, I started to realized that unless I healed my heart of all the things that had gotten in the way of my past relationships, I wasn’t going to do a really good job of manifesting a soul mate. I started doing a lot of work on myself. I went and did the Hoffman Quadrinity Process. I did therapy. I did the Sedona Method. I did EMDR. I did hypnosis. You name it, I did it.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: You were going to get rid of all those demons inside, right?

ARIELLE FORD: All of them, every bad relationship with every jerk I ever dated, including my own jerkiness! I got really serious over the course of a year of healing myself while using every manifestation technique I had ever learned, whether it was treasure maps, making lists, saying prayers, rituals, affirmations, and even some stuff I made up called ‘feeling-izations’.

The term ‘visualization’ doesn’t really do the job, because if you don’t have any feeling behind it, if you’re not visualizing the physical, cellular experience that is already yours, you’re not going to get it. I created ‘feeling-izations’ for myself. Through all this stuff, lo and behold, it worked! I manifested the greatest guy in the world. You’ve met him; you know!

CHRIS ATTWOOD: He is. I can vouch for that. He is an incredible guy. In your book, I know you tell the story of how Brian came into your life, but would you take a minute to share with our listeners a little bit about how that came about? It’s an incredible story.

ARIELLE FORD: I will. I just want to finish one thought. What happened was that 11 years ago I manifested Brian-and I’ll tell you the story of that in just a second-and then that was it. I was done. I manifested this great relationship. Over the last 11 years, every single woman who’s ever met Brian has pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, “How do I get a Brian?” I tell them, “I did this, I did that, I did this, I did that.”

Finally, a couple of years ago my sister Debbie Ford, who’s an author, was doing this big European cruise with a couple hundred of her students, and she said, “Why don’t you and Brian come on the cruise? Why don’t you spend 45 minutes sharing with my students how you manifested Brian?” I did, and at the end of the 45 minutes all these people were very excited.

“That’s great! When’s the book coming out?” I said, “No, there’s never going to be a book. I’m done writing books. I don’t want to write a book.” They kept saying, “We need this. We need this.” I thought, “Okay, I’ll make an Internet product. At, I created this product that is a DVD, three CDs and a workbook. I put all the information there, and that’s where it’s been for a couple of years.

I thought, “I’ve done my job. I’ve shared what I know.” Then HarperCollins saw the kit and said, “We want it to be a book,” and I thought, “Now I’m willing to do a book. The work’s already been done; it’s just repurposing the existing material.” That’s how The Soulmate Secret came to be.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: What I so appreciate about that story is that you didn’t go out looking for a publisher; the publisher came to you. Of course, the subtitle of your book is about manifesting your soul mate using the Law of Attraction, and you seem to have done quite well at that in many areas of your life, Arielle. Tell us how you attracted Brian.

ARIELLE FORD: Years and years ago, in the early ’90s, Deepak Chopra had told me about this holy woman named Amma, The Hugging Saint, as she’s now called. He and Rita, his wife, had been in Boston and gotten a hug. He said, “She’s the real deal. If you ever have an opportunity to get a hug from her, you should do it.” That always stuck in my head, but I’m here in San Diego. Where am I going to meet a holy woman?

One day I went to the chiropractor and there were several photographs on his wall of this Indian woman. I said, “Who is that?” He said, “That’s Amma, The Hugging Saint.” I said, “I want to meet her.” “You’re in luck. She’s going to be in Newport Beach next weekend. You should go do her three-day retreat.” Newport Beach is an hour drive for me; it’s no big deal.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: A lot closer than India, I’d say.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, a lot closer. I said, “I’m going to go.” He said, “I’ll tell you a secret. I lived on her ashram for many years. Most people don’t know this, but when she’s hugging you, you can whisper in her ear for a boon, for something special.” I thought, “Oh, that’s good!” I called and got signed up for the retreat. While I was talking to them I said, “How many hugs am I going to get in this weekend?” This was a long time ago. They said, “You can get three hugs in a weekend, one a day.” Now you’re lucky if you get one hug a season.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Yes, and that’s after standing in line behind a couple thousand other people.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes. We get there, and I got very strategic about all this. On the first hug, as she’s hugging me-they’d said to me, “She doesn’t speak English. You can’t talk to her but she’ll hug and she may chant in your ear”-I whisper in her ear, “Amma, Amma, please heal my heart of anything that would stop me from having a soul mate.” Suddenly, she was hugging me tighter and laughing really hard.

I thought, “She got it. I don’t know if she speaks English, but she got it.” Then the next day when I got a hug I said, “Amma, I want you to send me my soul mate,” and I rattled off the top 10 of my long, long list of things I wanted.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Is that right? In her ear? That’s great.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, I did. I thought, “What the heck? What’s the worst that can happen? They throw me out?” That night I went to sleep and I had a dream. In the dream there were seven women dressed in purple singing to me. The lyrics of the song were, “Arielle is the woman who comes after Beth.” I woke up the next morning and thought, “That’s a clue. He’s out there but he’s tied up with somebody named Beth right now.”

I didn’t give it much more thought. Three weeks later I’m on the phone with one of my client’s partners. I was working on a book called The Messengers by Nick Bunick. It was a Simon & Schuster book, and I had arranged for Nick to do this national TV interview. The producer called and said, “We don’t want to do this in LA. We want to do this in Portland. We want to go to Nick’s house and do the interview there.”

I said, “Fine,” and I called the publisher. They said, “You should go. You should go to Portland and make sure they don’t trash his house or anything.” I called Nick’s office and his business partner, who I had talked to a few times on the phone but didn’t know well, Brian, answered the phone. I said, “Listen, here’s the schedule. The crew is going to come up on Friday. I’m going to fly up Friday morning. I’ll supervise the shoot. Tell Nick not to worry about anything. I’ll be there.”

I said, “By the way, can someone pick me up at the airport?” Brian said, “Sure, I’d love to pick you up at the airport, but I can’t meet you at the gate. The airport’s under construction, so I’ll have to meet you outside. Here’s where I’ll be. This is the kind of car I have.” “Fine,” but I’m still not getting anything. It was an overnight kind of trip, so the next morning I get on the plane and I’m feeling really nervous.

I’m thinking I’m nervous because I was going through a liver detox. You know what those are like. I was drinking a lot of warm water with ginger and garlic and God knows what in it and not eating a lot so I was hungry. I thought, “I just need some food, but I’ll be fine.”

CHRIS ATTWOOD: You were probably in a really good mood.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes! In detox hell. The plane lands, I get off the plane, I walk out to the front, and there’s this guy standing exactly where he said he would. I take one look at him and I wonder to myself, “I wonder who Beth is.” The next thought is, “You don’t even know his last name. You don’t even know if he’s married.” We get in the car and we go to Nick’s house. The crew is already there. They’ve already run over the flowerbeds; they’re making a mess.

We get in there and get all the lights and the cameras set up, and the interviewer sits down with Nick. There are bright lights on them, but I’m sitting in the back of the room where it’s dark on a workout bench next to Brian. While we’re sitting there and I’m supposed to be paying attention to the interview as the publicist, all I can think about is that I want to massage this guy’s shoulders. He’s got on this red shirt and all I want to do is massage his shoulders.

The feeling is so intense that I end up sitting on my hands because I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m starting to wonder, “Have you really lost it?” I’m sitting on my hands, and this voice says to me, “He’s the one. This is how it happens. This is who you’re going to spend your life with.” I’m really starting to worry because I’ve never heard voices before. All of a sudden, all the lights in the room go on. They’re done with that portion of the interview.

We stand up, and Brian turns to me and says, “When I picked you up at the airport this morning, did I look familiar?” I said, “Yes. Why do you ask?” He said, “I’ve been dreaming about you.” I thought, “I need some air.” I don’t even answer him. I turn around and head for the door to go outside. As I’m walking to the door, Nick, my client, says to Brian, “Why don’t we take Arielle to dinner tonight before she has to leave. Why don’t you invite Elizabeth to join us?”

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Elizabeth as in ‘Beth’?

ARIELLE FORD: Yes! I’m thinking, “Great. There is a Beth. It’s an Elizabeth. It’s his wife,” but the voice comes back and says, “Don’t worry. They’re just like brother and sister.” I have no idea what’s going on. I’m hungry. I’m hearing voices. I’m having uncontrollable urges. I’m freaking out. We get through the rest of the day. We had to go on location to Powell’s Bookstore to tape some of it; then we went somewhere else.

Finally, it’s 7:00 at night. It’s a beautiful summer night in Portland-it’s July-and we’re sitting outside with Nick, his wife, a co-author, this woman Elizabeth, her girlfriend, and we’re waiting for the food to come. The food’s not coming and it’s not coming, and I’ve got to go to the airport because I have to catch the last flight home. Finally, Nick tells the restaurant owner to put my dinner in a to-go box, and Brian and I jump in his car to go to the airport.

We’re flying down the freeway, I’m feeding him my trout dinner, and I start to hear things spontaneously come out of my mouth that I have no control over. The first thing I hear myself say to him is, “You know, I don’t want to have any children.” Oh, my gosh! I still don’t know his last name and I just said that! Brian said, “That’s why Elizabeth and I have broken up. She wants to get married and have children; I don’t want to marry her and I don’t want children.”

The next thing that flies out of my mouth is, “I’ve been looking for a Tantra partner.” At this point, he just about drives off the freeway because that was the dream he kept having. Three weeks before we met-it coincides exactly with when I saw Amma-he started having these dreams where he would see this woman, who was in Tantric positions with him. The night before he picked me up, he saw my face in his dream. It’s kind of a long story.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: No, but it’s a great story.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, three weeks later we got engaged, and a year to the day that I asked Amma to send me my soul mate, she married us in a Hindu ceremony. None of that would have happened had I not done all the healing work, all the visualizations, all the preparation and manifestation. I know that it’s all tied together, and Amma’s blessing was, of course, the coup de grâce.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: I hate to say it, but it actually sounds like The Soulmate Secret is to go get a hug from Amma and whisper in her ear.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, absolutely. I think that’s definitely the whipped cream on the whole thing. However, miracle worker though she is, you’ve got to do your part of it too.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Absolutely. One of the things you said was that you spent some considerable time doing all sorts of things to clear away the remains of bad experiences in the past. One of the things it makes me wonder is this. Many people dream of meeting a soul mate, and yet they have bad experience after bad experience-whether it’s marriage or just a relationship that is really deeply disappointing, deeply painful one way or another-and it gets to a point where they no longer believe that it’s possible. What do people do when they’re in that situation? Is there a way out of that?

ARIELLE FORD: Yes. I call it ‘getting to belief’. You have to get to belief, at some point, that it’s possible for you. Some people are easier than others. If you believe that there’s enough air for you to breath and enough water for you to drink, why wouldn’t you believe there’s enough love for you in the world? Some people can get there from that direction. What really got me to belief was watching Oprah.

About a year before I manifested Brian, I was watching the show one day. She had Barbra Streisand on. Barbra Streisand had just gotten engaged to James Brolin. I remember they showed this picture of her and James Brolin, and they looked so happy together. I had this amazing ‘Aha!’ moment where I thought, “If God,” or the universe or whatever you call it, “can find the perfect man for this woman, I should be a piece of cake.”

She was in her mid-50s. She’s pretty isolated. She’s super-wealthy. Everybody knows she’s a diva. How many men could be a match for her? Yet, here she was with the perfect man. I knew in that moment that if God had somebody for her, he definitely had somebody for me.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: That’s so cool. Why is being able to believe that there’s someone out there so important as part of this process of attracting your soul mate?

ARIELLE FORD: In my belief system of manifestation, if you don’t believe in every cell of your body that something is already yours, it really can’t be delivered. I don’t know if you saw the movie “Conversations with God,” but there’s this great scene in the movie where the Neale character is railing at God and yelling at God saying, “I just want my life back.” God says to Neale, “You can’t have anything that you want.”

When you do, you’re always getting the experience of wanting. If you’re living in ‘I want a lover’, ‘I want a husband’, ‘I want a wife’, all you’re going to get is more wanting, but if you’re in the place of believing and knowing in every cell of your body that this person is already there-they may not have manifested in physical form in your bedroom, but you know that they’re there-if you can live in what I call the ‘as if they’re already there’ and act out of that, then you’re days or weeks or months away from having them appear.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Talk a little bit more about what you mean by ‘living as if’.

ARIELLE FORD: In AA they say, “Fake it ’til you make it.” I’ll give you a great story. There’s a famous actress who shared a story with me about this, and she made me swear I’d never tell her name, so I’m not going to do it now. When she wanted to manifest her soul mate, every night she would cook herself a beautiful dinner. She would set the table for two, she would light candles, and she’d put two wine glasses out.

She was living in the ‘as if’; she was living as if he were already at her table. That was sending a really clear, strong message to the universe that she knew he was out there, and that she was ready, willing and prepared for him. To prove it, she was already cooking his meals.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Wow. It’s really making room in your life for that person even before they may be physically there.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, and there are some simple ways to do that. For anyone listening to this, here’s the fastest way to know if you’re ready and willing to have a soul mate in your life. What I’m about to say always gets a strong reaction from people who aren’t ready. I always tell people they need to A) make sure that the nightstand on their side of the bed is empty, and B) make plenty of room in your drawers and your closets for them.

Create the actual space for them to come and put their clothes and their stuff in your house. Half the women I talk to say, “Are you kidding? There’s not enough room for my clothes! How could I ever make room for somebody else?” These are the women who constantly have problems with relationships. They’re too busy, they have no time and they have no space, which is okay. It’s not that that isn’t true for a lot of us at certain times in our lives, but be honest with yourself.

It may not be the right time. You may not have the space. You may not be willing to make the space. Quit beating yourself up for not having somebody; but if you’re really serious, you will make the space. You will work on the broken parts of your heart. You will stop obsessing about the ones you can’t have. You will stop having drive-by sex with certain people in your life.

I like to tell people to just imagine that your beloved has a webcam on you 24/7, that they can observe you anytime they want. Would you be happy with what they’re seeing? How would you be acting if you knew they could zero in on your life? You’d be behaving differently. If you really believe they were out there and on the way to you, you could act ‘as if’ right now.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: That makes a lot of sense. What a great little quick test to see if I’m ready for my soul mate. Am I ready to make room for that person?

ARIELLE FORD: There are, of course, a lot of divorced people out in the world, and I tell them, “Are you sleeping on the same mattress you had all those fights on?” If you are, maybe you need a new bed. For sure, you want all new sheets. If you can’t afford a new bed, at least get new sheets and pillows. Sage your house. Clean out the old energy. There’s a whole section in “The Soulmate Kit” and in the book about what I used in terms of Feng Shui and negative energy-clearing techniques.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: Is this what you mean in the book, what you call feathering the nest?

ARIELLE FORD: Absolutely, it’s feathering the nest. You want to get ready. You need to be prepared on all levels. Physically you need to be ready. That doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. You don’t have to suddenly become a size six, but you do need to look in the mirror. Have you changed your hairstyle in the last 12 years? Are you looking your physical best that you can? Are you emotionally ready, or are you still really hooked into the last one who broke your heart?

If you need therapy, go get therapy. Is your house ready? If they knocked on the door today, would you let them in? Or, would you say, “No, no! You need to come back in three weeks.” Get ready now. That’s what living ‘as if’ is all about. They could be walking in at any moment. One of the stories in the book is from my mastermind partner, Peggy McColl. When she wanted to manifest her soul mate, she looked around and thought, “Wow! I’m a single mom living in the suburbs amongst families, and I work from home. Who am I ever going to meet?”

She just decided that she was going to manifest the perfect soul mate. She didn’t know how or when or where. It wasn’t her job to know how or when or where; she just held a very clear intention, and she was ready on every level. One day, this very handsome guy knocked on her door and introduced himself and said, “Hi, my name’s Denny. I’m your new next door neighbor. I’m a pilot, and my dog sitter got sick.

“Could you please babysit my dog for the day while I go fly the president of Canada to his next meeting?” That’s how they met, and they’re now married. You don’t have to know how. It’s actually not your job to know how; it’s your job to rest in perfect awareness that it’s already yours.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: I love that. I won’t tell the story now but, of course, you know, Arielle, that the way I met my wife today was an overlap of two weeks of me going to some spiritual Internet dating sites and her having a profile up for three days. Somehow her three days and my two weeks overlapped. She was in France and I was in California.

ARIELLE FORD: I love that story. You still have to get that on tape. That’s a beautiful story. You had a very clear intention, and she had a clear intention. Even though she wanted to pull it off, she was out on that site long enough for you to grab her.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: It’s true. Sometimes our past experiences give rise to a lot of fear. You described it a little bit when you were talking about meeting Brian and having to sit on your hands; but some people have had bad experiences and relationships before, so when they meet someone they think, “This could be the person.” Then they get so afraid that it’s hard for them to move forward. Is it possible that we might sabotage our relationship with a soul mate, and how do we overcome that?

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, I think people sabotage stuff all the time, which is why the first half of the book is totally focused on healing the past, learning to fall in love with yourself, and learning to trust yourself. If you do heal the past, then you’re not going to attract the same mish-mash you had before. You may get new stuff, but at least it won’t be the old stuff. As I’m sure you know, attracting and marrying your soul mate doesn’t mean that your relationship is problem-free.

One of the great things a soul mate does is heal us on the deepest possible level, but as we know, the process of healing can get messy on certain days. Yes, you have to work through the fear, which is why it’s good to be adept at release techniques, and there are so many of them out there to learn. I always tell people that what I do when I get afraid is I don’t resist it. I don’t try to distract myself. I don’t eat my fear away.

I actually sit down, close my eyes, and allow myself to feel the fear as deeply as possible for 60 seconds. I try to imagine the worst, most horrible thing I can think of wherever my fear is leading me. I know when I dive into it, it immediately starts to dissipate. If it doesn’t dissipate completely, then I use the tools that I have, whatever various release techniques I’ve learned, to let it go and not have it on me.

CHRIS ATTWOOD: It’s such an interesting paradox, that going into and feeling something like fear, feeling such an uncomfortable feeling completely, somehow is the pathway to freedom from it. That seems to be the experience of those who have had the courage to do that.

ARIELLE FORD: Otherwise, you’re constantly in resistance of it and it never goes away. It also gives you an opportunity, if you can go give your fear a psychic hug, to say, “Come on in here. You’re welcome here. I’m going to let you be here because A) you might be trying to give me some valid information; there may be a reason to feel the fear; maybe it’s a red flag, or B) you’re giving me a moment to say, “Okay, that’s what happened in the past.

“This is something new. What do I need to do? What are the next steps I need to take to see if my fear is real or not?” That’s the reason I think it’s so great to have either a therapist, a coach, or somebody objective whom you can call when this stuff comes up. We can’t do this by ourselves. We’re not supposed to do it by ourselves.



CHRIS ATTWOOD: Especially, I think, for the men who may be listening to this call, we guys always think we have to do everything alone. Yet even for guys, in my experience, having buddies there to go through these things with makes a huge difference.

ARIELLE FORD: Yes, and I think it’s great for guys to have women friends to go to. I had one friend who had been married three times, had a lot of baggage, and was pushing 60. He had this girlfriend for a couple of years, who he really loved, and she really loved him, but she wanted to get married. She had two children from a former marriage. He kept saying, “I’m done with kids. My girls are grown up. I don’t want children anymore.” He was ready to break it off.

I sat him down and said, “What is the matter with you? You love her. She loves you. You actually always loved kids. Why couldn’t you be a parent to her two kids?” He thought about it overnight, and then he proposed. They’re happily married now, but he needed a friend to get in his face and say, “Snap out of it! What is the matter with you? What is this thought ‘I’m done with kids’?

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