I'm an all-or-nothing kind of woman.
'Cause all of me loves all of you o/~
Lately my all-or-nothing, black-or-white style hasn't been working for me. It's actually been causing a lot of suffering and a lot of pain.
So I've been wondering if I have some room for growth. I've been looking at my 0% or 100% way of living and daring myself to look at what's underneath.
Know what I found?
A very scared little girl who is worried people will abandon her or ignore her if she doesn't give all of herself in every moment.
- Perfectionist, much?
And also a little girl who operates from scarcity and fear instead of flow and abundance.
- You are enough, little one.
As I get to know this little girl better and understand what she wants, what she needs, and what her purpose is in my life, I begin to ask myself:
Get comfortable with the grey.
And I'm not talking about Christian Grey.
So what are five ways to be with the grey?
Here's what I've got so far:
STEP 1. Take Responsibility
Acknowledge the ways in which you are rigid in your beliefs and expectations. The first step is seeing where your 0-to-60 mindframe makes things uncomfortable and holds you back from a more fulfilling life. You can't change what you can't see, so once you see it, take responsibility with love and compassion.
STEP 2: Open to the Possibilities
If you're all-or-nothing, black or white, there's a whole lot of options in between the extremes that you're missing out on. Compromise may seem like a four-letter word, but the discomfort is way better than hustling for your worth and burning bridges. What would life be like with more than two crayons in the coloring box?
STEP 3: Understand It's Not Personal
Someone's inability or choice to not meet you where you're at is not a judgement. It's not commentary. It's not personal. People have their own priorities, their own values, hell, their own lives they're preoccupied with. In most cases, we're not operating in conscious friendships or relationships where people are considering their decision's effects on you. So don't take it personally. It's not about you.
STEP 4: Realize the Nature of Life
Change is the only constant in life. Life is about birth, growth, and death. People can fall out of love, fall out of favor, grow apart. Yes, people are either dead or they're alive, technically, but in every other aspect of life, you can see a whole range of existence from numb to coping to surviving to thriving. Choose the way you want to live, and throw some color in there!
STEP 5: Release Expectations
In a recent conversation on Facebook, I asked, "How does one lower her expectations to live a happier life?" I'd recently watched a video about how lowering expectations was the key to happiness. Someone replied, "One works to release expectations entirely!! Lower your expectations, get lower results & be perpetually wanting. Keep high & rigid expectations, be perpetually disappointed."
So ask yourself, "What am I expecting to happen here? How will I feel if my expectations aren't met? Can I release my expectations and allow this moment to unfold as it will?" Then love your answers, understand what's underneath them, and have great compassion for yourself.
This isn't something I've perfected. I am human. I make mistakes. It's tender and vulnerable to admit my patterns and coping mechanisms. But I am committed to growth...even through the discomfort.
To your growth and mine and loving you through the tender times,
The naked dream.
That one where you're standing up in front of your colleagues during an important meeting or at the front of a room.
And you’re naked.
The panic and vulnerability and fear of ridicule set in. And all you can do is run.
RUN! RUN FROM THE ROOM!
Except your feet are glued to the floor. You can't move! You can't leave!
Yeah, that’s me right now. That's how I'm feeling.
Because it’s happening for real in a few weeks.
While I won’t be at the head of the class or leading a meeting, I will be at a training that requires nudity. While not completely unexpected for the type of training (I’m in a sex, love, and relationships coaching program, remember?), it was a bit of jolt when it came up, and it wasn’t handled with sensitivity and compassion.
So, what should I do before getting naked in public? How can I hold myself through the terror, shame, judgement, and fear of not belonging that are common when shedding clothes for the first time amongst a group of people?
I’ve come up with the following five things to do before getting naked in public:
STEP ONE: Know the Rules
Get familiar with the rules and guidelines of nudity and sexual expression where you’ll be.
Is nudity the expectation in all areas or just the common areas? Will you be taking food in the nude, or will you be the only one showing up naked at breakfast? Is disrobing something that will be done during group activities or only during free time? How is consent and self-responsibility discussed? How will discomfort or inappropriate behavior be addressed?
Knowing these rules ahead of time will give you a sense of safety, security, and belonging with the whole community being on the same page.
If the rules aren’t made clear up front, set yourself up for fluidity. Come dressed in something light and loose, and prepare yourself to disrobe if you see everyone else in the flesh.
Also spend some time determining your rules, your boundaries. Know that you don’t have to get naked just because others are taking off their clothes. You have self-responsibility. You have the power to say no to any exercises or activities you are not ready for. You can prepare yourself to take agency with handling your comfort.
Do know, though, that if you are not participating, you may be asked to leave so others aren't distracted with observers.
STEP TWO: Know Your Hosts
Find out more about your hosts and develop a sense of safety with them. This allows you a measure of comfort that anything inappropriate or sensitive will be handled with compassion and care and not shame and judgement.
If it’s not possible for you to reach out to the hosts, or if you feel unsafe and can’t reschedule the experience, prepare to take care of yourself.
Sit down and get clear on what your boundaries are. What are you comfortable with doing? How are you comfortable being? What interactions might make you uncomfortable? What might you avoid doing?
Try role playing what you’d do if you feel vulnerable, see something you are uncomfortable with, or are approached in a way that makes you feel unsafe.
Have words, resources, strategies, and tools at your disposal. You don’t have to go with the flow if the flow is a clear “no” in your body, and your hosts are unavailable or unwilling to support the experience or step in. Take care of yourself, and be clear in your body and mind.
STEP THREE: Hear Your Fears
Take the time to listen to the parts of yourself that don’t feel safe, that are scared, worried, or afraid of getting naked in public.
In a society and culture that celebrate one body type, the male gaze, and heterosexist norms, you may have a lot of anxiety, and that is really normal.
You can journal a list of all your concerns, or sit with your eyes closed in a private space and voice them out loud in a stream of consciousness way for five minutes.
However you choose to listen, tune in to how your body is feeling and what you fear. This gives you an opportunity to address your concerns with love and compassion before you're steeped in the present moment reaction of getting naked with a group of people.
Is it likely people will laugh at you as you take off your clothes?
- They're probably not paying attention to me.
Is it likely people will judge you as you walk by?
- They're probably just enjoying the air on their bodies.
Is it likely people will ask you to leave because you don't belong?
- Well, no.
Considering the likelihood of your fears actually playing out strips some of the horror and allows you to be more present with the experience itself.
STEP FOUR: Get Clear on Your Goal
Keep close the reason why you're showing up in the first place.
Is it to challenge your conditioning? Is it to experience freedom? What do you desire from the experience as a whole?
In the shadow of your goal lies many fears and doubts that may try to hold you back from achieving all you seek.
Instead treat your goal like a mantra during those moments of stress and anxiety. Give yourself something concrete to hold onto through the intensity. It may be the clarity you need to move through the vulnerability to get to the other side.
STEP FIVE: Show Up and Be Seen
Channel Brené Brown, author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection.
She says: Show up and be seen. Don’t puff up. Don’t shrink down.
I didn’t know nudity was going to be involved in my upcoming training. But I do know I can get self-conscious in large groups, especially in large groups of people I don’t know.
So I told myself to show up as me.
I told myself, I don’t have to be tall, thin, young, and beautiful. I just need to show up as authentically as I can. That means packing clothes I already own in sizes that fit my body and be me.
Now that clothes are less a part of the experience, the rest still holds — show up and be me.
Wish me luck,
P.S. Remember I have yet to have the experience! If you’ve gotten naked in public and have advice, or if you haven't gotten naked but have additional concerns, share with me your concerns and worries in the comments section.
And please! If you know someone who could benefit from this blog, please pass it along. ;)
I've spent the last three months taking a deep dive into my body, mind, heart, and sexuality, so I can guide people like you through your own personal journey with authenticity and integrity.
And WOW. I've learned a lot. I've felt a lot. I've expressed a lot.
This adventure has been filled with love and sex, innocence and light, shadows and wild darkness, trauma, healing, and transformation. At the foundation I'm asking myself:
I want to share with you the top ten things I've learned in my sex, love, and relationships coaching program in the hopes it might inspire you on your own journey toward integration and wholeness.
NUMBER 10. Self-Sabotage
I tend to count myself out before I even get in the game. My biggest triggers came before the program even started. I felt less than, like I didn't belong, didn't fit. I wanted to run and protect myself from the inevitable "Uhhhhh, you don't belong here." "We don't want you here." "We're just not that into you." But those words didn't come. I only heard them in my head. Self-sabotage is a belief you don't deserve the love, safety, and belonging of which we are all worthy, and I chose to love myself through it.
NUMBER 9. Uniqueness
I used to take everything personally. I thought if a person didn't like me or if we disagreed or argued, it was my fault. I wasn't perfect enough, patient enough, present enough. Now I see I am unique, and I'm not meant for everyone. I won't run from your darkness, what's wild or primal inside of you. I see it. I can hold it. It's one of my gifts. I'll help you allow it with love and compassion, and not everyone is ready for that. I can choose to see that it's not personal, and it's not a reflection of me. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We're drawn to some people, repelled by others (these can be great teachers!), and indifferent to the rest. We are all unique in our gifts and expressions.
NUMBER 8. The Body Doesn't Lie
I have worked for a long time to ignore and avoid my body while shaming, fixating on, and manipulating it. I haven't been listening to my body's wisdom, and I have dishonored my body's unique expressions in the world. Ask my body what it wants, what it needs, and it won't lie to me. But I've had to learn to listen and trust my body's wisdom to come home to my truth and core essence.
NUMBER 7. Authentic Sexuality
In the last few decades, I have tried to fit my sexuality into a box of easy climax, neverending desire, and boundless pleasure. But none of those experiences are true for me. Subsequently I numbed the connection between my body and mind to avoid feeling shame and judgement, because I wasn't experiencing my sexuality in a particular way. These days my authentic sexuality is many things — many experiences, many expressions, many sensations — and I honor the ways in which it shows up. It might be numb or angry, kinky or sad, primal or sacred. However it wants to be, I embrace my authentic sexuality and celebrate its multidimensional expressions.
NUMBER 6. The Power of And
I used to believe in the word "or" and it was very black or white, all or nothing thinking. I was a coward or I was all in. I was unsure or 100% committed. Now I see the power of "and." The word "and" is magical. I can be a mother AND sexual. I can be powerful AND feminine. I can be responsible AND fun. I don't have to choose to be one thing over another. I am capable of holding all aspects of myself and feeling everything — dark and light — that comes along with life.
NUMBER 5. Thriving is a Choice
I've spent my days in a victim-filled state of response and reaction. It was always too little sleep, not enough healthy food, or someone else's fault. I was surviving by clawing my way through life. However, the key to a conscious life — to a life where you thrive — is choice. I desire more pleasure, joy, and fun in my life, and I CHOOSE to experience more of them. I CHOOSE to believe I'm worthy of those experiences, and so I will seek them out. Because surviving in life is a reaction, and thriving in life is a choice.
NUMBER 4. Sisterhood
Growing up I felt isolated and disconnected from friends and family. I spent a lot of time reading and journaling and then believing there was something wrong with me. But nothing is wrong with me, and it took sisterhood to help me realize that. Social and cultural conditioning are deeply imbedded in each of our psyches, and it's in a group that we can begin to heal these wounds. It is so amazing to be seen and held, to celebrate our successes, honor our desires, and hold one another's fears. I never would have made it this far on this journey without the beautiful sisters I've met and hold dear.
NUMBER 3. Self-Healing
I always thought I needed to connect with another to feel whole, to feel seen, to feel loved. Now I know I can heal myself. I can heal the wounds I've accumulated over the years. I can give myself the love, safety, and belonging I have so desperately sought in connection with others. My body knows what it needs to be well. My mind knows what it needs to be calm. My heart knows what it needs to be connected. There is a deep inner wisdom within me.
NUMBER 2. Throne of My Heart
Before this program, I was at war with myself. I felt shame and fear and judgement and disgust around all kinds of things like my body, my sexuality, my parenting, and my financial contributions to our family. I was filled with what I "should" be like, what I "should" do, who I "should" be. That created a lot of conflict between who I am at my core and who I thought I should be. These days, all parts of me are welcome at the throne of my heart. You can think of the throne of your heart as a place of love, compassion, support, nourishment, safety, belonging, and relaxation where every piece of you is embraced. The angry side, the impatient side, the victim side — they all deserve to be seen, to be heard, and to be loved around a huge bonfire, an ornately carved table, or around the fireside at the throne of your heart. That is where you'll make peace with and integrate every aspect of who you are with love and compassion.
NUMBER 1. Love and Compassion
Love and compassion used to feel like a far-off, idyllic land filled with rainbows and lollipops. It wasn't for me. I wasn't allowed there. These days, love is a sensation of warmth and expansion in my heart, and compassion is an opening for connection and understanding grounded in my body. They are the foundation of integration and wholeness and the seat of transformation. Love and compassion are everything. With them, anything is possible. With them I am the Queen of Life.
I am only one-quarter of the way through my 600-hour sex, love, and relationships coaching program, but I have learned so much — about myself, about others, about life.
I have come away with a lot of love, compassion, hope, healing, insight, and depth around the human experience. It's something I will continue to share with you as we walk together on this journey of life.
With so much love,
P.S. If you'd like to learn more about anything I've shared here, please email me. Also, stay tuned for when I start working with clients one-on-one and offering programs and events around integrated sex, love, and relationships.
The last few months have been filled with so much expansion — learning, practicing, being. I am experiencing deep, deep integration and transformation in brain, body, and heart.
It's hard to explain, because it's not all verbal and the process is not yet complete, but I hope to share with you in the next few weeks small insights into what I've been up to in my sex, love, and relationships coaching program.
But first — drum roll, please — I want to introduce you to a new project I've been working on: Sex and Motherhood.
Sex and motherhood.
They go together like chocolate and peanut butter.
Have you ever made a sandwich with chocolate and peanut butter?
If you have, I want to read about it!
It sounds like a poetic blend of melty sex and sticky motherhood.
Have another sense of what sex and motherhood are like together...or apart?
Could you describe it in a word? With a story? In an image?
Could you capture it in a poem? Describe its sensations?
If you can, I want to know about it!
And that's what Sex and Motherhood is all about — sharing our stories, our expressions, and our experiences.
I created Sex and Motherhood to shed light on our shame, fears, judgements, and disgust.
I created Sex and Motherhood to celebrate our pleasure, joy, bliss, and radiance.
I welcome it all with love and compassion!
I am now accepting submissions with the desire to learn about your experiences with sex and motherhood!
I believe it's a conversation worth having, a conversation that's been marginalized, and a conversation that can help all of us to live empowered and fully integrated lives.
It starts right here. It starts right now. It starts with each one of us acknowledging where we're at and working to create our own idea of what sex and motherhood is and what it can be.
I'll see you over there at SexandMotherhood.com!
To choosing how we live our lives!
P.S. If you know someone who would be interested in sharing her experiences with sex and motherhood, please send this blog to her. I want to gather a whole spectrum of stories to share with our community, and we each have our own valued perspective on life.
I'll admit it.
I'm good friends with the darker emotions, with the more uncomfortable sensations.
I'm capable of holding yours, too — your heavy emotions and aching sensations.
But I'm not so good with things like
I've always wondered if there was another way, if there was a way I could shift my awareness.
Well, TA DAH!
I've found it.
It's called resourcing.
Resourcing is the ability to feel good, to feel nurtured, and to feel calm within yourself.
It’s kind of like when you put on your favorite pair of shoes or that jacket that makes you feel badass, and you “resource” from that article of clothing or piece of jewelry the way you want to feel.
This kind of resourcing, though, is about finding that place of goodness WITHIN YOUR BODY.
Resourcing is also amazing because you’re still present to the moment and in your body at the same time. You’re not off in your happy place on a desert island swinging on a hammock under a palm tree oblivious to the here and now.
Although that does sound nice.
Resourcing is the real deal for managing overwhelm, panic, anxiety, flashbacks, triggers, and PTSD. And you can do it anywhere at any time.
Here's how it goes:
STEP 1: SCAN
Scan your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Feel into the sensations of places like your scalp, heart, kidneys, feet.
STEP 2: LOCATE
Locate a place where you feel the most happiness and comfort TODAY. Every day could be different. Find goodness, safety, warmth. I like a place that makes me feel grounded. You, though, might like a spot that feels airy and open. Resourcing is very personal.
STEP 3: FOCUS
Bring your full attention to this part of your body and take comfort. Rest. Revel in self-love and self-care. You can even set up camp there.
And then breathe, breathe, breathe.
Resourcing is a beautiful reminder to look for the goodness within while also training us to look for the beauty in the world. It's an amazing tool that I hope brings you some peace today.
To your body's goodness,
It isn’t exactly breaking news that fast food is bad for you.
We all know it.
But it isn’t exactly breaking news that fast food SEX is bad for you.
Most of us have never considered it.
Even the most ardent hater of Brussels sprouts and broccoli has a hard time arguing that a bacon cheeseburger and order of large fries washed down with an extra-large, collectable plastic cup filled with high-fructose corn syrup seems like a healthy meal.
But even the most impatient skeptic of slow, luxurious sex has a hard time arguing that a quickie seems like a healthy connection.
Fast food has a terrible reputation. And for good reason: It’s really unhealthy, and if you eat a lot of it, not only will you gain weight, you’ll also end up sick and tired.
Fast food SEX doesn’t have a terrible reputation. In most circles, it’s the only option. And for good reason: WE DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER. Unfortunately, it’s really unhealthy, and if you have a lot of it, not only will you feel disconnected, you’ll also end up sick and tired.
When we eat, say, a nice piece of salmon with some quinoa and steamed vegetables, we’re getting vital nutrients from every component of that meal: omega-3s from the fish, protein and fiber from the quinoa, and a host of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. And while a five-ounce fillet of salmon actually contains more fat and calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger, it’s the quality of that fat and those calories that counts, and that’s where fast food falls short.
When we talk, let’s say, about our fears and desires around sex, we’re getting vital information and connection from every component of that interaction: blocks that hold us back, things we want, and a healthy dose of trust-building and compassion. And while talking actually takes time away from having sex, it’s the quality of that exchange that counts, and that’s where fast food sex falls short.
It’s a bit of a trap to think that when you’re looking to eat healthy, counting calories is all that matters. If you limit your overall calorie intake and amp up your workout regimen you’ll most likely lose weight, but it’s not just about calories; overall nutrition is the key to lasting well-being. A salmon fillet contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin B6, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, choline, pantothenic acid, biotin, and potassium. A McDonald’s cheeseburger contains some iron, protein, and five grams of saturated fat. Calorie for calorie, which one seems like the healthier choice?
It’s a bit of a trap to think that when you’re looking to have a healthy relationship, counting the number of times you have sex in a week is all the matters. If you increase the number of times you have sex per week you’ll most likely see your partner more, but it’s not just about how often you have sex; overall connection is the key to a lasting relationship. A quality sexual experience contains trust, boundaries, connection, pleasure, compassion, and fluidity. An 8-minute session may contain some physical touching, penetration, and a climax. Moment for moment, which one seems like a more satisfying choice?
And don’t forget, this goes beyond weighing the more obvious health benefits of beef versus salmon. Commercial buns are made with enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, stabilizers, conditioners, and preservatives, none of which offer much in the way of nutrition. Compare their health benefits to whole-grain bread and, well, there is no comparison. The closer to nature a food is, the healthier it will be, and few things are farther from nature than fast food.
I don’t want you to forget this goes beyond weighing quantity versus quality. Get-it-done sex comes from a place of “should,” desperation, and pressure to perform, none of which offer much in the way of long-lasting connection. Compare its benefits to sex with mind, body, and heart integration and, well, there is no comparison. The closer to human nature sex is, the more pleasurable it will be, and few things are farther from our natural instinct to connect than fast food sex.
So what does this have to do with making you feel sick and tired? A whole lot, as it turns out. What we put into our bodies plays a huge role in how we feel day in and day out, for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you need to explain the why of “no” to fast-food loving kids, inform friends and family, or just inform yourself of the dangers of fast food, here are eight reasons why it does so much more harm than good.
So what does this have to do with making you feel sick and tired? A whole lot, as it turns out. How we use our bodies plays a huge role in how we feel day in and day out, for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you need to explain the why of “no” to fast-food-sex loving partners, inform friends and family, or just inform yourself of the dangers of fast food sex, there are many reasons why it does so much more harm than good.
Can you name a few?
Come on over to my Facebook page and share why fast food sex is making you sick and tired. Tell me how you WANT your sex to feel, and I'll share with you how you can get there.
Wishing you whole body, whole mind, wholehearted, satisfying sex,
Content from Dan Meyers' piece 8 Reasons Why Fast Food Is Making You Sick and Tired is artistically used in this blog to compare fast food and fast food sex.
“Yes, I can pick up your kids for you.”
“No problem. I can swing by your house to drop that off.”
“Yeah, I’m not feeling so well, but I can probably still do it.”
“Sure, I can feed everyone.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll finish that work project this weekend.”
To me it sounds like you’ve forgotten your boundaries.
Or maybe, like most of us, you didn’t learn healthy boundaries to begin with.
Healthy boundaries? you say. What’s that?
Healthy boundaries are limits we can establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They can be physical, emotional and mental. But mostly I think of them as energetic.
As in, “Do I have an overflow of energy to help you such that I won’t be hurting myself in the process?”
Most of us don’t practice the self-awareness necessary to have healthy boundaries. That's because we can't take the time to discover why we're running around crazy on behalf of everyone else in the first place.
So why am I running around, exhausted, for everyone else? you ask.
Maybe it’s because you don’t want to hear the whispers behind you, people saying, “Who does she think she is?!”
Maybe it’s because you don’t like disappointing people.
Maybe it’s because you want desperately to be liked and to belong, and you believe doing things that martyr you will gain you some attention, some notoriety.
But can I tell you something?
That martyr — the one in the movie — she dies.
Uh, you tell me, I don’t want to die alone. But what about all of those other things? How do I handle those?
Think about the side-effects of having no boundaries.
How’s that guilt coming for you? Resentment in your life much? How angry are you these days? Overwhelmed at all?
These experiences come at the hands of boundaries that are too permeable or that don’t exist at all.
People walk all over you.
They say, JUMP! and you say, How high?!
No one wants to live her days filled with guilt, resentment, and anger.
But you DO want to feel spacious, clear, and happy.
You do want to feel that way, right?
If you want to be happy, if you want to be full of energy and purpose, here’s four steps you can take to become a Boundaries Bitch or Boundaries Bastard.
STEP 1: LOVE
Healthy boundaries are all about loving yourself and believing you are enough just as you are. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE ENOUGH. You don’t have to prove yourself to be worthy of love and belonging. You don’t have to bend over backwards to be accepted. Love yourself, and give yourself permission to say no.
STEP 2: PRIORITIES
Before you can set healthy boundaries, you have to know what your priorities are. Once you know what your priorities are, you will know where you want to devote your time and energy first. If there’s anything left over, THEN you can offer that out and do so with integrity.
STEP 3: GO-TO PHRASE
When someone asks you to overstep your boundaries, it’s nice to have a rehearsed phrase at the ready. A simple “Let me get back to you on that” or a “Let me check my calendar” can suffice. You can also say “I can't take that on" or "My plate is full.”
STEP 4: EMBRACE
That’s right. EMBRACE YOUR BOUNDARIES! CELEBRATE YOUR BOUNDARIES! Become a full-fledged Boundaries Bitch or Boundaries Bastard. Let your time and your energy be sacred.
And you know what happens when you embrace your Boundaries Bitch or your Boundaries Bastard? People begin to trust you more and treat you with respect. That's because they know you respect yourself enough to be uncomfortable and vulnerable with saying no when everyone else is saying yes.
You are WORTH it.
In full support of your healthy boundaries,
P.S. Then drop by my Facebook page and share a time when you totally blundered your boundaries and found yourself in a space of anger and resentment.
February is upon on us, and it's become more than just a Hallmark-card, one-day event.
While I was in grad school, February became all about V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against rape and girls. I was writing my thesis on The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler and attending performances that empowered women.
These days as I connect with my spouse, care for three young children, and build my coaching business, February feels more about cultivating self-love and remembering I can't love others if I don't take care to love myself first.
I've even heard some say self-love isn't as important as self-compassion. Because, really, we might struggle with loving the
pieces of ourselves. It may be easier to hold those parts of ourselves with compassion, acknowledge them as human and beautiful, and go easy on ourselves.
So this month, how about you turn the cards and hearts and love inward?
Here are 4 steps you can take toward self-love:
STEP 1: CELEBRATIONS
You are so awesome. What is it you can celebrate today? Things you have done, parts of who you are, they all deserve acknowledgment and attention and celebration. Take some time to go beyond gratitude to CELEBRATION of you. Write or type six things you can celebrate.
STEP 2: DESIRES
You deserve everything you desire. You are worthy. You are whole. BELIEVE IT! You came into this world being able to experience contrast between what you want and what you don't want. Get clear now on wha you desire, and fill yourself up with self-love. Write or type six things you desire.
STEP 3: LOVES
Other people, oddly enough, love you when you love yourself. Squeeze yourself tight, and think about what it is that makes you --you--. What would you never change about yourself? Write or type six things you love about yourself.
STEP 4: EMBODIMENT
You are love. You are all of the love. What would your life look like if you lived from a place of unconditional love? Your body would feel different. You'd move differently. You would say things in different ways. Write or type six things you can embody as love in everyday life.
Loving yourself is a huge step toward thriving, toward living the life you want to live, toward taking every step with love for yourself and others.
With great love for you,
P.S. Come on over to my Facebook page and share your celebrations, desires, loves, and embodiment as steps toward self-love.
I am doing a lot of personal work around sensations and healing these days.
Years ago I learned that before an emotion there is a sensation – a physical response in the body to stimuli. Sometimes it’s a sight or a sound or a smell or the way something feels or tastes. Even a thought or memory can stimulate a sensation, and thus, an emotion.
But emotions aren’t meant to stay in the body stuck on repeat.
We are meant to feel them and then release them.
Is there an emotion you’re not feeling? Or maybe one you’re not releasing?
When this happens in me, I often turn to essential oils to get to the root of the issue. Different oils can help me get in touch with the sensation causing the emotion, and oftentimes I can release them and move on.
I’ve created this emotions divination exercise for you as inspired by Nicole Cody’s oracle readings on her blog Cauldrons and Cupcakes. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you share your experience by leaving a comment on my website.
Instructions for using today’s post:
Let each image speak to you in its own way. One of them will have wisdom just for you!
Scroll down through the following images, and then let yourself come back to the one you are most drawn to.
When you have chosen your image, scroll further down for your message. Take what resonates for you, and apply it in your life over the coming weeks.
Trust that you will be shown what you most need to know right now.
Feeling it with you,
Let the divine guide you to the tree or flower that resonates the most.
5. Ylang Ylang
The Emotion and Message of Each Tree or Flower
Each tree or flower image has a message for you. Each one also corresponds to its essential oil, the soul or chi of the flora. You can apply the oil to the bottoms of your feet or on the back of your neck to support you in feeling and releasing the emotion. Breathe in the message of the tree or flower of your choice and as you exhale vocalize its associated affirmation. Finally, the action step is a tangible way you can begin incorporating this wisdom into your life.
1. FRANKINCENSE – The Oil of of Truth
Message – You may be feeling abandoned, disconnected, or unprotected by a higher power. Frankincense can help you reveal the truth of your soul by connecting you to your divine inner light.
Affirmation – I am loved. I am protected. I am connected.
Action Step – Take this time to meditate and pray as frankincense opens a channel to a higher power. Let the grounded, fatherly nature of this oil connect you to your source and light. Remember that there is a deep strength and wisdom within you.
2. GERANIUM – The Oil of Love and Trust
Message – You may be feeling unloved, lost, or heavy hearted in relationships. Geranium can help you connect and love by facilitating a trust in others.
Affirmation – I am loved. I am supported. I am trusting. I am forgiving.
Action Step – Take this time to lead with the heart. Hold a baby, interact with a young child, or play with a dog. Get in touch with unconditional love and the trust of youth to soften and open to human connection.
3. CINNAMON – The Oil of Sexual Harmony
Message – You may be feeling disconnected from your sexuality or insecure about your body and relationship. Cinnamon invites you into warmth and circulation – a spiciness – so you can be honest and vulnerable and thereby intimate and connected.
Affirmation – I am honest. I am vulnerable. I am connected. I am free.
Action Step – Take this time to get into your body. Do what makes your body feel good and what makes you feel attractive like dancing, taking a bath, or getting a massage. Find ways to nurture your body and celebrate what you love about yourself.
4. CLOVE – The Oil of Boundaries
Message – You may be feeling defeated, afraid of rejection, or co-dependent. Clove supports you in letting go of victim mentality by reconnecting you to your personal integrity.
Affirmation – I am strong. I am powerful. I am in control.
Action Step – Take this time to journal and get clear on what is serving you. List the people who support, embrace, and celebrate all of you. Separately acknowledge the people who unduly influence you, the people around whom you feel powerless, and those who put you down. Brainstorm ways to spend more time with the first group. Establish ways you can establish boundaries with the second group.
5. YLANG YLANG – The Oil of the Inner Child
Message – You may be feeling joyless, grief, or sadness. Ylang Ylang connects you to your heart and the pure, simple joy of childlike play and innocence.
Affirmation – I am light. I am in flow. I am joy.
Action Step – Take this time to play. Get into nature, go for a walk, or skip on the sidewalk. Look for rainbows in the sky and joy in the details around you. You can also play boardgames or physical games like bowling or mini golf in addition to spending time in the company of children who are creative and fun.
Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.
-- Frida Kahlo
How often do you pay attention to the sensations in your body?
Do you notice when you are tender, sensitive, bruised, achy, sore, tense, tight, or nauseous?
How about when you feel
If you are like me, you haven’t realized that first comes sensation then comes emotion.
Bessel van Der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score says, "When we pay focused attention to our bodily sensations, we can recognize the ebb and flow of our emotions, and with that, increase our control over them."
Typically our brain works so quickly we don’t notice the associations we’ve already made between the sensation of nauseous and the emotion of nervous, worried, or anxious.
So what can we do?
Robin Hilton Bowden, who works with yoga and mindful intimacy coaching, offers three steps to feel into your sensations (and for lots of other great inner work!):
STEP 1: BREATHE
Start by taking a deep breath into the body. Pick a sensation to work with or start this exercise when you notice a sensation. When you feel the sensation, see if you can use your breath to outline it, deepen it, move it, or soften it. Breathe to get present and allow the sensation. Breathe to feel better and to release the sensation. Notice any emotions or feelings that come up in your mind in response to the sensation.
STEP 2: FEEL
Feel the quality of the sensation in your body. Can you describe it? Can you feel it shifting when you start to relate to it with words? What emotions arise for you? Feel into the emotions, noticing the connection you've made between a sensation and a particular emotion.
STEP 3: RELAX
Relax. The sensations (or lack of sensations) in your body are not a judgement on you. Sensations are your body's internal response system to outside stimuli, and if you can relax, you can then begin to choose how you want to feel by picking the sensations in your body you want to expand or by softening the sensations you want to release.
If you want to experience less fear, come out of a depression, or soften your anger, start with the sensation just before the emotion.
If you want to feel more pleasure, greater ecstasy, or bursts of joy, focus on the sensations in your body that you associate with those emotions.
You have the choice.
With great love and much feeling,