V-Day is here!
Love is in the air… may be…
I keep seeing posts and blogs about being “so over Valentine’s Day.”
Now I don’t necessarily buy into the fanfare, Hallmark cards, and candy. But, I am also reminded that as humans, we are programmed to connect, love and be loved.
So to ignore or minimize this very human need on a day that is focused on celebrating LOVE, is missing the opportunity to celebrate who we are on a core soul level.
In last week’s post, I wrote about Self-Love being the most important ingredient in any hot and sexy love affair. And, it’s true.
I truly believe and know that only when we are truly in alignment with our own beautiful spirit, can we completely and authentically give and receive real love.
If you aren’t sure where to start with Self-Love, my encouragement to read last week’s blog (click here).
Amidst lovers and loving, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves is learning how to fully accept and love ourselves.
Today I extend two invitations….
One, to inquire on how you share your loving with others in a way that is meaningful to them and to you. Not based on what you might get back from being loving and a lover, but as a reflection of the depth of your self-loving.
Because when we love ourselves first, we can then give, serve, and love without expectations making our well of love suddenly bottomless.
Two, to practice inquiry on how you may be keeping yourself from experiencing and sharing the depth of your loving. The possibility that loneliness, sadness, resentment, grief, and upset are ways to keep yourself, safe in a way, from experiencing the freedom love has for you.
Because romantic love is only one flavor in the rich palette that is LOVE.
I know that for many this day can be quite painful, especially for those in grief or longing.
For me Valentine’s Day can and has been bittersweet.
As a child, my beloved dad would surprise my sister and I with Valentine’s gifts every year. It was always such a joy to find his tokens awaiting our arrival from school. His gesture of love never requiring a thank you.
For many years after he passed, my missing him kept me from celebrating love on this day. The turn-key happened when I recognized how my grief kept me restricted and constricted in an effort to avoid feeling pain again. Allowing myself to feel the sadness and the pain, and feel it all the way, set me free. Free to celebrate his legacy of love that still exists in me on this day and everyday.
If you’re longing for what has yet to arrive, can today be the beginning of releasing needless suffering giving way to nourishing yourself as an unselfish lover does?
And, if you are a partner in a relationship that may not feel so great, consider the invitation to love despite the imperfections of you and your partner without attachment to any particular outcome.
Now I haven’t forgotten about the required word for a great Valentine’s…. helping lovers love loving hot and sexy together.
Lovers loving love hot and sexy together happens when we are willing to engage in one big dirty F word….
Nothing kills romantic love and dims erotic spark like our fanning the flames of resentment, bitterness, and upset.
Forgiving the judgments towards your partner and self.
Forgiving God for actions that may be judged as cruel.
Forgiving past lovers for they were not part of the tapestry the Universe has woven for you.
Forgiving yourself for being human and imperfect.
Forgiving a body that changes.
Forgiving the judgement of feeling and wanting all that you do.
Forgiving, perhaps just enough, to allow yourself a different experience of yourself as a lover, acting from a place of full loving, having no attachment to getting anything back, or waiting for another to pay back an old debt.
Forgiveness sets your free to love and be loved.
Freedom to get LOVED up by LOVE…to reveal the truth about how you really LOVE.
Love cannot be owned, ended, or held captive.
LOVE is a Being, a presence, a reflection of the truest part of your Soul.
You, the essence of LOVE LOVING LOVE fully and purely.
💕 Happy Valentine’s Day… Happy LoveBeing Day 💕
Loving you today and everyday,
PS…Come play and discover different flavors of romantic love at next week’s Love, Intimacy & Attraction Event, info & reservation here. It’s gonna be good 💕.
It’s February! The month we celebrate love.
But before we dive into how to have a sizzling and hot V-Day, let’s stop for a moment and talk about the most essential ingredient to hot and sexy anything…. (drumroll)…. SELF-LOVE.
By definition self-love is having regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.
In my work with individuals and couples as well as my own journey, the practice of self-love is not always easy. Our small, ego mind in an effort to keep us safe, can go on endless loops of negative self-talk and sabotaging behavior.
This leads us to seek validation and love from others, rather than ourselves, which almost always results in our feeling unsatisfied and unloved.
And, when we don’t practice self-love, it can often lead us to being needy and unloving which is a sure way of putting out any sexy fires.
For only when we are truly in alignment with our own beautiful spirit, can we completely and authentically give and receive real love.
Because when we love ourselves, we know that we can give without becoming resentful or depleted.
We give love because we are full of love. We are fully immersed in the deep flow of love and loving.
The practice of Self-Love
Slow Down and Be Mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know themselves well. They take the time to slow down and consider what they feel, think and want. They take others into consideration when making choices, but not solely on making others happy or sacrificing self.
Know the No’s. The greatest lesson in Tantra practices is knowing your no before saying yes to anything. You will love yourself more when you set limits and say no to things that do not align and genuinely serve you. And, when you do say yes, it is a wholehearted agreement you will not regret later.
Taking Care of Business. Practice good self-care. People who practice self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
Kindness and Forgiveness. We can be so hard on ourselves! There really is no need to punish ourselves for mistakes that ultimately prove pathways to healing, learning and growing. The greatest act of self-love is acceptance of your being imperfectly human. We all do the best we can given our our choices in any given moment. Hindsight is 20/20. Stop judging from that view.
Living with Intentional Desire. You will accept and love yourself more when you live through intention and desire, purpose and really wanting. You will make decisions that support this intention, and create steps towards heart-felt desires. Your heart will burst for YOU when you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do.
Amidst lovers and loving, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves is learning how to fully accept and love ourselves.
The act of being our own hot and sexy lover… before we are this for someone else or invite a lover in.
For now, go practice loving yourself BIG. Next week we will talk about lovers loving love hot and sexy together.
There was always an excitement about January 1st, because I got a chance to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. The previous year, with all its ups and downs… GONE.
I wrote specific, measurable, achievable, and reachable goals. I’d even do vision boards.
And some where around January 20th…. the momentum started to slip.
Until I got the most amazing opportunity…. (drumroll please)…
I got the chance to ask the late great Wayne Dyer a question. It went something like this… How do I keep myself going?
Here is what he said….
“Assume the feeling from the end.
Don’t think about doing, but that it is already done.
Don’t think about the end, but from the end.”
He talked about that when he was getting ready to write a book, before he even sat down to write it, he would start by imagining that book already written.
What I learned in that moment was that it did not matter how much I want something. If there are any misaligned inner parts or perceived obstacles, no desire had a chance.
I learned to approach a desire as already having arrived, and what I found was that the heaviness of “making it happen” disappears and the obstacles my saboteur loved to give me, stopped having the same power.
But how do I know which is the goal for me?
When we choose goals without first slowing down and tapping in to our innate genius, we are more likely to choose goals that don’t align with our higher soul purpose.
tapping into your Innate Genius
- You can start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position.
- Take a breath and close your eyes. Place a hand over you’re belly so that you can feel the rise and fall of your breath.
- Imagine yourself already having completed or achieved your desire. Use all 5 senses to really put yourself in the context that best supports what you want. Example. If you are wanting to write a book, imagine the book already on your bookshelf. What do you see? Hear? Smell?
- Begin to notice the energetic shifts in the body. Is what you are imagining resulting in your feeling expansive and relaxed? Or, are you feeling more contracted and tense?
- If you experienced yourself as expansive, note where in the body you are feeling the most enlivened. Anchor in this feeling before writing goals, creating living visions or vision boards.
- If you experienced tension, be curious about the reasons for wanting this goal? Is it something you really want? Are there competing intentions/goals? Does it help to divide goal into smaller signposts?
- Write it down — write your goal as already happening focusing on what supports you. Example. I am opening my book with my family surrounding me. We are all excited and I am feeling proud. I love how my book feels in my hands and the smell of this new book makes me even happier.
Here’s to an amazing and beautiful 2018.
PS… A little surprise for you… https://youtu.be/2Lskzq0yHWw
plays an essential role in humans. As social creatures and at the root of our humanity, is the craving for close, personal and reciprocating relationships with others.
Intimacy usually refers to mutual openness, sharing, and vulnerability. Its lifespan can range from a single interaction to a long-term relationship of years or even decades.
It can exist in a variety of relationships spanning from close friendships to parent and child to family and even neighbors and co-workers.
But no other relationship contains the polarity of needs and interactions than that of our romantic relationships where intimacy also denotes sexual interactions because of the roles and expectations of these relationships.
Intimacy in a romantic pairing relationship is built over time.
At the beginning of a romance with hormones heightened and curiosity on overload (aka limerence which we will discuss later, so stay tuned), our attraction is high and we experience glimpses of intimacy.
New relationships might have moments of closeness, but the long-term intimacy that characterizes close personal relationships is a building process. Because as we get comfortable and let our guard down, more of our “parts” show up and so do those of our partners.
There is also a natural, healthy ebb and flow to intimacy — a relationship might be highly intimate or be lacking in intimacy without anything triggering the rise or the fall.
The problem becomes a problem when people judge the quality of their relationships based on the depth of intimacy and the degree to which they feel close to their partner, or how they perceive their partner being intimate with them.
Then, because of previously unresolved issues, they shutdown, avoid, or run and blame their partner or circumstances for the state of the relationship.
The truth is that….
Intimacy is about being intimate with ourselves… Into-Me-I-SEE.
To create and practice real intimacy is to practice seeing into myself, recognizing old and new wants and desires, letting go of what is not really me, and then (huge here) allowing the space for my partner to do the same without wronging or taking what is being shared personally.
The reasons why infidelity occurs are many, but the common thread I have found in every couple that has sat across me, perhaps not verbatim but some version of this – I did not know how to practice intimacy with myself, so to discover and reveal parts of myself to myself, I went elsewhere.
True intimacy requires trust and vulnerability… and this is frightening when we are not comfortable with parts of ourselves. We look to our partners to validate us, to make us feel accepted, to feel loved, and yet none of this matters if we cannot do it for ourselves.
Getting emotionally naked
The healthiest and most passionate of relationships naturally have moments of high and low intimacy. What keeps them going is that they know this and when the intimacy is low, there’s no blaming or avoiding what is happening.
Instead, they get emotionally naked.
They have the willingness to explore and then express deep sadness, hurt, fear, and love…oh, yes love!
And because they both get naked, there is no need to blame or avoid, because they recognize that when one of them disengages, it is not a sign that something is wrong, but that a new level of depth is ready to emerge.
And they seek moments where they can experience themselves differently.
Don’t get me wrong, many people struggle with intimacy, and the fear of intimacy is a common concern in therapy.
But sometimes, to allow ourselves a moment to have that spark of intimacy – to let ourselves be seen and while also having the willingness to see without intruding or pushing any agenda… so we can build from that in therapy, in quiet moments, and even in the loud ones. (A little positive psychology always helps.)
Because contrary to popular belief, the couple who never quarrels and seems like the perfect pair is not necessarily the couple who has the greatest intimacy.
It is the couple who expresses themselves and their differences, who engage in their struggles and challenges in a constructive, honest way, who may perhaps from the outside look contradicting or too different, but who can also find ways to express their love that are truly intimate.
Want to experience a moment… perhaps that spark?
Come join The Art of Love, Intimacy, & Attraction Evenings. An evening focused on the tending and nurturing of all your parts. Couples and Singles are invited to attend.
With all my love,
“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom”
– Francis Bacon
The New year is here!
One of the most powerful ways to move forward in creating your dreams and intentions for the new year is to focus on what you’ve learned, celebrate your wins, and forgive the past.
I find that when I do this, I feel more present, more grounded, more at ease, and most importantly, excited about what’s next.
And, how I begin this process is by finding the stillness, the moments of pause and silence.
When I was a child, I loved New Years. I loved the idea of starting over and that come January 1st, the past was wiped, fresh start.
The older I got, the more life experience under my belt, the more I felt the heaviness of what I did not accomplish, the goals left behind, and the relationships, including the one with myself, that did not feel any better.
In an effort to feel good, I followed what so many “experts” say to do – jump right into creating and manifesting on the goal line. The heaviness did not quite go away.
I found that when I moved past the stillness and straight into goal achievement I was skipping the most important lesson …. MY SOUL LEARNINGS, the reason why my soul had called in those precise let downs and wins.
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes radiance.”
~ Morgan Freeman.
Soul Learnings is the belief that everything that happens – the good, the bad, and the ugly – happens for my highest good.
We also cannot access our learnings though busyness, noise, and haste.
Seeking the stillness allows us to quiet the mind and stop judging, blaming, and avoiding. Instead, we get in touch with our inner counselor, the part of us that is wise, holds equanimity, and has a higher vision.
From this place we begin to recognize what we learned in the last year with gratitude and grace. We also get to celebrate the wins, something so many of us forget to do.
Forgiving others, not for their sake, but for our own sake. Because in doing so, we create and manifest from a space of compassion, abundance, not scarcity, fear, or angst.
When we practice forgiving ourselves, we remember we are worthy of creating what we truly desire based on authentic alignment not guilt, remorse, or obligation.
Most importantly of all, when we slow down, we give ourselves the chance to ask, “What do I want? What do I really really really want?” from a place of what feels good and what nourishes me and my relationships.
Where to find moments of silence….
- Taking a shower or a bath.
- In the car, arriving home, right before getting out. Or, after dropping off the kids before driving away.
- Morning coffee… sip it slowly.
- Before or after a yoga class.
- Park your car at the furthest point of a parking lot and walk slowly towards your destination.
- Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deliberately.
- Rather than look at social media, read emails, or play a game, put on a song you love and let your body lead (you may want to put headphones on too).
- Read a book. The Alchemist being one I read every January.
And remember, that even the most beautiful rose bush is pruned and rested before it begins to radiantly flourish again. Below are a few offerings on the making this year the most flourishing and sizzling yet.
Wishing a magical and magnificent 2018,
So much talk about the season of merriment and light, yet for so many…
The paradox of the holidays.
It can be said that there is wisdom to be gained through challenge, hardship and suffering. It can also be said that there is deep learning and truth to be gained.
Because when we are in a “dark night of the soul”, the deepest part of our being reaches out for a more valuable connection with heart and spirit.
This, however, may not be immediately apparent to the ego self.
In the midst of pain, anger, grief, or sorrow, the ego self becomes attached to specific outcomes – “I will feel better when…,” and cannot see the possibility for learning and for a greater life on the other side.
This paradox is hard for the human self to grasp when feeling the heaviness of pain. Our most human response to suffering is to want to end it, and the human heart cannot help but believe that what it feels, the deprivation of joy, love, and, even hope, cannot possibly be the source of something good.
And yet, in the darkest hour of the night, there is a sharpening of vision, and what appears empty and dark, suddenly holds the promise of light.
In this sense, a dark night of the soul may first appear as if all the light has gone out, but the soul continues to support the seeking of light and continues to radiate and attract light toward the self that suffers and struggles.
After all, isn’t it true that when we feel disconnected from joy and love, we begin to seek that joy and love with a more willing and malleable heart? We begin to see the glimmers of light where moments before there were none to see.
Light attracts light even in the darkest hour.
This is the divine beauty of the soul.
From this perspective, the holidays – holy days – is the ideal and soulful time for our journey into the light… the surrender into the light of our own being.
A reminder that the holy days, regardless of religion, culture, language, country, or ethnicity, are an invitation to love freely – without the need for reciprocity or finding worthiness in another.
An invitation to practice love loving love – the practice of being present and loving for the sake of loving.
To love openly because we are all soulful beings and, in the eyes of the Divine, are all equal – no one better or worse, more spiritual or less. The only distinction that each of us arrived on earth with different soul curriculums.
The holidays are high holy days because they serve as reminders of the holy that resides in each of us.
A sacred summons to seek the Divine in another.
A reminder that all moments are for our highest purpose.
Wishing you the most beautiful holiday season.
May it be filled with bliss, compassion, peace, and a heart filled with love.
With all my love,
“Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object never really matters.”
– Marilynn Robinson
“He doesn’t really listen”
“She plays on the phone rather than spend time with me”
“It’s like I don’t even exist”
“I feel invisible”
“The dog gets more love than I do”
When a man or a woman checks out emotionally, mentally, or physically from their relationship, it can be for many the beginning of death of love.
Many men overwhelmed by demands of intimacy, vulnerability, and unresolved emotions from the past, give into feeling lost and check-out.
Inadvertently surrendering not to love, but to the unconscious fear that if he were to step into a fuller expression of himself, he would push others away, not be man enough, or be seen as a fraud.
Women in an effort to not rock the boat, not to make another feel bad, keep quiet and often agree to parameters of the relationships through default until one day this becomes impossible for her to continue.
Overwhelmed by demands of intimacy, vulnerability, and unresolved emotions from the past, she gives into feeling lost and checks-out. Inadvertently surrendering not to love, but to the unconscious fear that if she were to step into a fuller expression of herself, she would no longer belong and be seen as a fraud.
We can respond to the pulling away of the other by adding final blows or to see the pulling away as part of the cycle that can return us to greater love. Perhaps not always to greater love with our current partners, but greater love nonetheless.
Man stepping into a strong and powerful masculine energy by learning how to authentically express their authentic masculine presence without disempowering and disconnecting from the feminine. Without minimizing, blaming, or telling her she’s feeling or being too much.
One way to to start this, is my empowering and embodying those parts that he finds hard to love… the parts that have been castrated and often appear in moments when disempowering another or perhaps even abusing another.
The parts that remind you of how powerful you are because you can annihilate another with your hands, but it takes more courage not to.
Inner spaces that feel soft and vulnerable because those are the parts the connect you more deeply to the heart of humanity.
Woman remembering how powerful and raw the authentic feminine presence is without punishing or building walls. Dropping the need to blame or remind him of his failures.
Start by reminding yourself that you are not here to simply put up with things or to play nice. Your gift of intuition bestows your wisdom and truth telling. Your willingness, your courage of heart to offer ALL of you, even the uncomfortable, imperfect, chaotic parts is an invitation not only for you, but for your partner, your family, your tribe, the whole world to get out of our heads and into our hearts.
The truth is that NOW more than ever, both men and women have the opportunity for growth, healing, and learning on how to step more fully into their true self.
Both using their feeling lost, their checking-out as signposts that their higher self is requesting a look inward, to create space to heal before anyone can return more fully to love.
And to all parties involved…
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t take it personally
This December I am offering Men & Women (sex specific) events to help you step into a deeper, more graceful, love-filled expression of you. In January, I will be adding co-ed Love, Intimacy & Attraction events.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love food… and I am enamored with sweet potatoes and yams. My love for them is so great that it is not uncommon for me to make several sweet potatoes and yams recipes on this holiday. There’s also the mashed potatoes and gravy, watching the dog show (I usually eat my first batch of sweet potatoes while watching this), the turkey, and spending time with family.
But, what I love most about this holiday is that it is a day we set aside to deepen in the practice of gratitude.
Because giving thanks helps us recognize, appreciate, and gift ourselves and others transformation.
When we express gratitude, we open up to love, and we are reminded that, although not perfect and sometimes downright painful, there is sweetness, expansion, and healing woven into life.
Have you ever noticed how saying thank you can change you and your outlook on things? Have you seen someone transform in front of your eyes when given gratitude?
We may not get transported to a place of glitter and perfection and the bad doesn’t necessarily go away.
What we can experience is a shift and lightness in our emotions. Our sense of connection and presence in the moment may deepen. There is a reminder that grace always seems to appear when we need it the most.
Research has also found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being.
Giving thanks can also impact the overall experience of happiness which can be long-lasting.
Now, I get it. It’s not always easy to express gratitude or to find ourselves in a state of thankfulness.
Four ways to Cultivate Gratitude on Thanks-Giving
- Say thank you often. Look for opportunities to say it — particularly to those who serve you.
- Practice not gossiping, complaining, or judging for the day. (You can do it!)
- It is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. We don’t have total control over our emotions. We cannot will ourselves to feel grateful, less depressed, or happy. Yet how we look at things is dictated by how we feel about them. Being grateful is a choice: We can feel grateful and not be grateful towards the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives.
- Engage in compassionate forgiveness. Sitting at a table with family discord and conflict is never easy, but for that day (and every day after if you choose), remember that at any given moment we all do the best we can. If he/she/they, had thought of something better to do or say, then they would have done it.
I also want to take the opportunity to give Thanks to YOU.
Thank you for showing up.
Thank you for allowing me to be of service.
Thank you for engaging with me.
Thank you for sharing your time, your attention, and to many of you, your heart and soul.
Wishing you a blessed and delicious Thanks-Giving,
So… much… going… on… right… now!
There are tsunami-size waves of social change occurring. We can’t go very long or very far without witnessing or being exposed to an injustice or human darkness.
I don’t know about you but there are moments when it all feels like there’s a huge wall separating us from where we are and where we want to be, what we imagine life can really be like.
We want to take it down, but we have no idea yet how to do it. Leading us to feeling overwhelmed and overly triggered, wanting to run, hide, enraged, frozen, or all of the above.
At least that’s what I tell myself…BREATHE. Because change is not easy and it is always the darkest before the light appears.
And, I am also reminding myself that no matter what is happening I have a choice in how to respond and how to be with myself, and how I can contribute to making this world a little brighter.
Each of us has a spot on that wall where we can choose to either help break it down or to put up another brick.
We each have our talents, our gifts, our work, our light. That’s our chisel in helping break down that wall.
We don’t have to do it all. The ego mind likes to think we do which usually results in us freezing.
We don’t have to hammer things down. Force and violence never work.
We don’t have to be anyone other than who we are.
We don’t have to do anyone else’s work. No need for over-responsibility or playing the rescuer. Both serve as distractions from our own work.
We can pick one thing, and give it our all.
And chisel away at that spot… over and over again.
By taking that one spot, that one space inside ourselves that feels triggered, that feels tender, that feels vulnerable. Not pretending we don’t feel or blaming for feeling. Being with that spot… loving it… being compassionate with it.
And then, when we are ready, practicing forgiving. Forgiving our judgement, our misunderstanding, our not knowing any better. Again and again because forgiveness is a practice, not an event.
Here’s the most wonderful thing of all…
… each of us are doing our work, chiseling way one spot, then collectively, eventually, together we will bring that wall down.
What we learn then is that every wall we encounter – both inner and outer – are post signs, reminders that more love and compassion are needed.
More love please.
Your tender spots matter.
Your gifts and your tools matter.
You are here for an important reason.
Because together, that wall comes down.
And together… WE RISE.
Many have arrived to my office this week stunned and in disbelief over the events in Charlottesville. Some asking how to deal with the fear and anger. Others inquiring about the notion of love replacing hate.
One of the things I love about my practice is that I get to serve a multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-lingual population. Many of my couples are of mixed ethnicity and even mixed religions. Once during a women’s event, we looked around the room and experience such joy that in the circle were Christians, Catholics, Buddhist, and Muslim women of varying ages and cultures. One woman stated, “We can teach the UN a few things.”
There is a part of me that perhaps is a bit Pollyanna always looking for the good, the silver lining in everything: darkness always leads to light and after every storm there is always calm.
I admit that given the political climate of this country, it gets a little hard at times. Today, I sat with a knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes. Hate spewing out of so many. The silver lining becoming dimmer at times.
Hate is defined as the intense or passionate dislike for something or someone. Hate helps build the illusion of separation, of being different, of competition over false identities. This mixed with prejudices and judgements can be combustible.
Love on the other hand, is having affection, love, compassion for ourselves and for every other being. It opens us up to see the beauty in things and the good in others. It serves as a reminder that in God’s eyes, we are all the same. A homeless man is no better than the one living in a mansion.
Love can erase hate because if we practice love and being in our loving, we are aware of our prejudices and we are willing to be curious and inquire about them. We question the validity, where we learned it, how it serves us, and our willingness to change it.
I for one do not believe in being colorblind. In full transparency here… when someone tells me that they don’t see race, they don’t see color…. I gulp. It’s natural to see the difference in others. What is not natural is closing down our hearts because of what we assume to know because of another’s skin color, religion, culture, or ethnicity.
When we allow ourselves to be curious and inquire about our assumptions, we actually open our hearts a little more. And when we forgive ourselves and our assumptions, we elevate the whole planet.
The alternative is ignoring our assumptions to the point where we judge ourselves for having them. And given that life is a mirror into ourselves, we eventually see in others what we dislike in ourselves. We then use hate to fuel and give ourselves permission to blame those that remind us of what we do not want to see in ourselves.
So can love erase hate?
Yes… it can and it eventually will.
In the meantime, please remember that you are love, are loved, and you were made to love. Don’t shut down or don’t push away. Once you center yourself in this, take it to the streets. Go out and be in your loving with others.
Here I arrive at my silver lining which is remembering….
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be the light we all need to brighten our world a little more today🌟.
With all my love,
If we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, then our greatest learning instrument is our body.
Let’s start with our most human parts. Our belly being the keeper of our emotions and the archaic stories of our tribe. Our hips helping us move in the world. Some with more relaxation, others with more tension… both being okay. Our pelvic floor rooting us to Mother Earth and the place where we connect and disconnect from everyone else. All of it showing up for our learning and expansion.
Throat, eyes, and crown being our more ethereal and abstract parts. Our throat seeking to speak our truth, sing what we feel, and shout what we must say at times. Our eyes guiding us to what we envision for ourselves. The eyes also being the mirror, gateway to the soul – the core of our being that carries no stories of hurts or dissatisfaction, but just pure loving. Our crown being the spot in our body that is most connected to that which is higher than us. Call it any name you want – God, Yahweh, Allah, Spirit, Universe, Goddess – it is all the same. It is the part of us that leads the inquiry into who we are, what life is about, and seeks meaning to our existence.
This leads us to the heart. The part that balances the ethereal and the human, the part where love resides. It is in our heart space that love is born, love is given, and love is received. Stories do not exist here. When we are born, breath comes through here. And when we leave our body, breath comes through here. It is the place where we nourish our human desire to connect and our soul’s calling to expand.
So where does the brain fit into all of this?
Your body is the vehicle while your mind is the navigation system. They work together, not separately or in contradiction of each other.
We are the drivers of our ride. When we decide to go right, we go right. When we decide to turn left, we go left. The navigation does not take over, but simply helps us get there. From time to time the navigation system gives us feedback “maintenance required,” “hazard,” or even “system overload,” but it does not take over the driving. Therefore the only time our minds take over is when we forget how powerful and divine we really are.
You are a spiritual being having a human experience. You came equipped with all you need to handle this crazy and delicious life ride.
So next time the navigation system wants to take over, here are a few suggestions:
- Breathe s-l-o-w-l-y feeling every inch of your being. Notice where the tension is. Breathe into that area.
- Place one hand over heart and the other over the area tension and say, “I am a spiritual being having a human experience and I arrived equipped with what is exactly needed at all times.” Repeat as needed…and breathe.
- Celebrate the good moments. Don’t wait to remember you are human only in the negative, heavy moments. Celebrate the happy feelings because they too are part of this ride.
Loving and supporting you,
Photo by Craig Whitehead
I am going to start this by reminding you of a great truth…
You… the real YOU is wild.
You were born wild.
Your body born to shake, wiggle, and move freely.
Your mouth to tell your truths and yell in delight.
Your skin to help you feel you in this world and sense the world in you.
You were meant to feel it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And, you were meant to use it for your growth and well-being.
Your soul chose this life to be wild and free.
But in your innocence, you forgot. You began to believe the lies you were told. Be this… don’t do that… good girls do… good girls don’t…be a man…man up… on and on and on. You believed it because when we are young we need to belong, we need to feel safe, and so we give up our wild, untamed self in order to survive.
Consistently I hear from men and women talk about their desire to be happy, comfortable in their own skin, and vulnerable in their relationships. Yet over and over what keeps them feeling sad, angry, shutdown, turned-off, and distanced is their adherence to old hurts, should, and regrets.
What I keep learning from these courageous souls is that talking about it, becoming aware about it is a great first step, but it is simply not enough. One has to feel – feel the contours of the energy rising inside. Allowing the body to express it through its natural wisdom.
Wildness resides in the body where the greatest of wisdoms also lives.
This is hard to do in a world where the mental is given more power. So rather than feel our way through an emotion, we begin to think about the emotion. We try to find a “cure” for it by assigning blame (spouses, partners, parents, and siblings are popular targets), remembering bad stories (reminding yourself how many times he/she/it made you feel this way before), or using a coping skills that get us further away from healing (drinking, eating, screaming, or giving the cold shoulder).
Thus we blame, shut down, and try all other coping skills in hopes one will help us feel better. It does not work. It has never worked. It will never work. Even talk therapy is not enough. So what can help?
Feeling the contours of the emotion and allowing the body’s natural, wild intelligence to express it and moving it out.
Nature is a wonderful teacher for us. When something bad happens, you see animal do exactly what their body intelligence knows to do: A possum freezes, a gazelle runs, and a lion fights. When the event it is over and it has survived, they reset their body by shaking. No blaming, no second-guessing, no wondering what it could have done something different.
Therefore, the next time you feel an upset of any kind, try this….
- Notice where you feel the energy (energy in motion = emotion) in your body. It may be helpful to place a hand over the spot and breathe in to it.
- Resist giving it a name. Yes, this is counterintuitive, but the minute you assign it a name – sad, mad, glad, anger – you stop feeling and you begin thinking.
- Move your body. You can stand up, sit down, lie down, or even get on all fours. This is not dancing. Shake, twirl, hop, karate chop… whatever your body wants to do.
- No matter what you do, keep on moving until the “energy” subsides.
- Breathe until your body settles. Not any kind of specific breathing, just breath.
So what does all of this have to do with liberating your wild soul? EVERYTHING!
Because to heal using your body’s intelligence is exactly what we were meant to do – to liberate ourselves from the heaviness, the tension, the unforgiveable, and the upsets and find the part of ourselves that lives life freely, enthusiastically, uncontrolled by the should’s or blaming.
No longer surviving the tension and the negative beliefs. Instead, living and loving your wild and delicious life feeling everything in the present.
If you are interested in diving deeper on how to let yourself feel everything, join us for FEMME – Workshops for Women. Theme for June is “Feminine Emotionality: The Art of Emptying & Feeling it All.” To register or for more information, click here .
Loving you and your wild soul,
I have been relatively quiet these last few months. SO much going on every day. I get that the planet is in the middle of some seismic shifting – turn on the news and you see it happening EVERYWHERE. For someone who preaches on openheartedness and kindness, it has been … well… very very challenging. Yet, one thing that has been present for me is…
All relationships are mirrors into ourselves revealing to us where we need to go with our own inner process.
Everything that is happening is for our highest good. The good, the bad, and the oh so ugly.
Each time we are triggered, it is an opportunity to learn much about ourselves by allowing us to see what may otherwise be difficult to recognize.
There I was having a wonderfully post yoga bliss moment when a black Expedition jumped in front of my car. The man driving the car motioned for me to lower my window and what came out of his mouth startled me. He blamed me for his tardiness because I had let someone else cut in front me. He followed this by saying that I should go back to Mexico or wherever I came from. He sped up and disappeared.
I’m not going to lie… I was fuming. I even for a split second considered chasing him. I blamed our current President and everyone that voted for him. And then…
I remembered… mirror, mirror.
What I do in response in any moment, to any trigger is a reflection of me. Because every single “I am upset because…,”” I am angry because…,” or “I am (insert any emotion here),” is a reflection of me, my inner process, my parts that I love, but most of the time, the parts that I don’t.
Snow White is not the only one to have a magic mirror.
Because when we learn how to use reflections, our relationships and interactions then become one of the most powerful avenues for our spiritual growth. We attract people into our lives that challenges us by triggering our unhealed wounds, making us act from fearful patterns that create separation rather than the connection we seek.
Which is why in our most intimate relationships, we often blame others for our upsets. In our romantic partnerships we look at the other to make us happy, when really these partnerships come into our lives to heal and ultimately elevate us.
More often than not, it is not the present situation that is upsetting us, but rather an unhealed wound rooted in the past.
When we begin to look within, we can see how all of the challenges in our relationships are a reflection of our lack of connection and love with parts of ourselves. As children or young adults, we did not have the cognition or life experience to respond in an empowering way. We instead chose behavior that got us what we most needed – attention, love, to be seen. We do not get the chance to heal and change this until a triggering event happens. The problem is that our habit is to focus on what’s not working on the outside and try to fix it or fix our others. Often using anger and hurt to justify our words and behaviors.
Our romantic partnerships are fertile ground for this since we often are magnets for people to help us complete old stories. I recall a friend who often shared she married her dad twice. First she married her father’s more negative qualities, went into therapy, and then re-married her father’s more positive qualities.
And not just with our romantic partners, but EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP. Every single person you encounter is a reflection of you. Trust me… the Universe does not waste its time on sheer coincidences… the checkout person at the grocery store, colleagues, water delivery person, the snarky teenager, the 2-year-old in full tantrum sitting in the airplane seat next to your, the person that cut you off… yes, even the man in the black Expedition.
The invitation here is to shift your attention from what’s happening on the outside to greater awareness of your inner life. This is where real empowerment begins.
Because when we focus on our internal space and take care of that first, things on the outside begin to align. Things that upset us we can let go, we can forgive, and find a solution.
Let me be clear, this is not an invitation to be Pollyanna-like or to participate in spiritual bypass. This is about being responsible for your own feelings, behaviors, decisions, so that you can be empowered to change them in a way that serves you, your intentions, your desires. Blaming your partner for your unhappiness is the surest way to have more unhappiness and now a partner that is the object of your blame (ahem… vicious cycle).
How to use these reflections for your own spiritual growth?
- Spend some peaceful time alone each day where you can meditate, journal, so you can get more intimately connected with all your parts. Even 5 minutes engaged in a coloring book will help this process.
- Do something you love that connects you with you and supports you loving all of you. I love to garden. Five minutes of gardening helps me feel more aligned and more willing to be in a space of kindness and less likely to blame.
- Remember you are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t give away your power to decide this for yourself.
- Recall the first time you ever felt this way or an earlier time when you had the same experience. If you often find yourself blaming someone else for your unhappiness, can you recall another time when this happened? Many times we repeat in our adult relationships what we were unable to did not change as children.
After having some time to think about the incident with the man in the black Expedition, I can recognize that there are still some parts needing more love in myself, perhaps the parts that are more difficult to love. For me the greatest gift of the moment was coming back to the space of openheartedness. It is easier to constrict, shut down, and create more separation.
Because the more we can love ourselves, the more we elevate this beautiful blue planet.
It’s that time of the year when we get flooded by images and messages of how to create more romance, how to be a better lover, or how to find your perfect partner NOW. Admonitions that the status of our relationship or the togetherness of our coupling is lacking something.
Let me remind you that you lack nothing. Sure there are things that are in process of being fulfilled or transformed. BUT you my darling lack nothing.
So this year, I propose that Valentine’s Day be a day of romancing yourself – A practice of embodying every inch of you.
Because our relationship with ourselves is a direct reflection of our relationship with others, when we can connect with ourselves more intimately, more genuinely, more authentically, we create greater doorways and paths to be able to do the same with someone else.
Romance is defined as a love affair, an attachment between people, a mysterious appeal, or a mysterious quality of something beautiful.
To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody you.
To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody yourself. It is an invitation to feel more alive and relish being in your own skin.
Because when we do this, we deepen our intimacy, aliveness, and erotic connection without the push to make it about what we may or not be getting from someone or being alone or in coupledom this time of year.
Therefore, to romance yourself is at the very heart of Valentine’s Day.
Here are some ideas on how to romance YOU.
#1. S-L-O-W Down
Valentine’s Day is an invitation to live from the romantic, sexy and sensual parts of ourselves. One way we can experience more sensuality is to slow down. Many of us run around all day, mindlessly getting things done. How many of us have driven somewhere not recalling how we got there?
Slowing down is about being aware of what we are doing right now. One of my favorite way to slow down is to move as if I were moving through thick caramel (YUMM). How I move my body becomes more deliberate and more mindful.
Slowing down turns on our proprioceptive sense which many consider our sixth sense. The proprioceptive sense is vital to our daily experiences and something that contributes to our overall body ownership. Experts in this area share that without this sense our brains our lost.
When we slow down, our body feels more grounded and allows our mind and body to connect. Connection being the one quality that allows us to create deeper intimacy with ourselves (and with others of course).
Most who have been in a romantic relationship say that they felt the most connected to their partners at the beginning of their relationship. The reason for this is because at the beginning of the relationship each person was completely present to the other. Everyone attentively paid attention to every nuance of the other and most importantly the attention was based on curiosity.
You can practice presence by noticing the nuances of you and being curious about how you experience being in your own body. Noticing the movement of your feet as you walk – is it heal-toe, or toe-heal? Do your hips sway or shuffle side to side? What about your shoulders? For women – the bounce of our feminine curves!
The biggest invitation to practice presence with yourself is through the breath. Paying attention to the feeling of your belly and chest rising and falling with every breath. Is there pause at the top or the bottom? Is your inhale or exhale longer?
#3. Mirror Mirror
In Tantra, Soul Gazing is one of the primary exercises taught – two partner’s looking into each other’s eyes with hand over heart.
The invitation here is to practice Soul Gazing with yourself.
Gaze into your own eyes and share words of love and gratitude with yourself. Perhaps a little tough the first time, but I promise it gets easier. Besides, if we cannot admire ourselves, how can we ask that from someone else?
Forget about your hair, makeup, or any perceived imperfections. Look into your eyes and get lost in the wondrous and brilliant creature you are. Look into your eyes, place hands over heart and say…
I love you
…. a beautiful soul
… keep going.. What else can you whisper to yourself?
#4. Mindful Pleasure
One of the greatest things about Valentine’s is that it is all about stirring up and stoking the embers of pleasure. Pleasure is everything and anything that feels good to the body. Our sensual bodies innately know pleasure. It is often our brains that get in the way with the should’s and should not’s.
Pleasure answers the question what feels, tastes, looks, sounds, and smells good to me?
For example, start your day by feeling your body by stretching it in bed, noticing what areas feel relaxed, and how the skin feels when being touched by clothing or bed sheets. How about using a yummy lotion and taking the time to massage it into the skin? Choose clothes that feel good on your skin or at least take your time putting each article of clothing on you. Drink your coffee by smelling it, taking a slow sip, and feeling the warmth of it in your mouth.
When we pay attention to what our body enjoys and how it derives pleasure, we feel better because we are feeding our sensual selves. Let go of any misunderstanding that we can only do this with a partner. We open ourselves to pleasure and we give permission to receive pleasure. Having a partner has nothing to do with this.
#5. Shake Baby Shake
The demands of daily life often result in habitual tension patterns in the body and an overactive mind. Many of us adopt a freeze state of the body which many times is perceived as calm.
The problem is that this “freeze” state keeps up from experiencing ease and pleasure in our physical bodies because the body experiences “freeze” as tension. Consequently, the mind perceives tension as the body signaling something is wrong and we don’t seek pleasure when something is wrong.
Allowing our bodies to continually move without imposing any specific movement or pattern, the body begins to experience itself differently and pathways to pleasurable embodiment are reinforced.
Put a song on and begin to move. It is not about looking good or following a specific kind of dance. It’s about letting your body move you. Best way to do this… shake. Literally shake. Remember the “Hokey Pokey?” Shake one body part at a time or shake the whole body at once.
So how can you further romance yourself as a powerful way to feel more alive and embodied, or share more of your embodied self with another?
For the women… Come join me at our next FEMME.
For the men… stay tuned… something just for you is on its way.
Picture by Clay Banks
It was a calling. A deep heart calling to be part of the Women’s March LA. It was not about being anti-anyone. It was about listening to the whispers calling me to witness a rising.
I had never witnessed a morning like that. Hundreds of us at the train station. The train themselves, completely jammed packed. To say we were packed like sardines is an understatement. I could hardly move without touching someone else. Yet we laughed, we used each other to lean on, and some even sang songs.
Once on the streets of Downtown LA – HOLY Mother – there were thousands of us! Last estimates say there were 750,000 of us. I felt all sorts of emotions rise. Some joy, some love, some sadness, but most of all awe. There were so many of us that the roads closed for the march were not enough. Drivers were stuck in their cars. Many of them were swept with the joy of the moment as they got out and began cheering the marchers on. The signs people carried were brilliant. So many creatively stated many of my own thoughts. A sea of pink pussy hats on women had me smiling from ear to ear.
What was the most moving was seeing the number of men that marched along the women that morning. Some came with their partners. Some came on their own. Fathers brought their sons. Groups of men came together. My heart burst open when I heard the men chant, “Her body, her choice.” Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.
I marched because to me nothing is more important than the freedom to choose.
The freedom to say what happens to my body, who touches my body, and how I take care of my body. I marched as a drop in a vast ocean of powerful women. As I often say – when women gather, we are a powerful force and our collective presence changes the world. I marched because this event marked the greatest awakening of the Divine Feminine energy. I marched alongside millions of women and men worldwide because I yearned to be there at the moment that this wider recognition of the Divine Feminine was being birthed.
The Divine Feminine is the matrix of creation. The truth is every woman knows it exists in every cell of her being even if she forgets from time to time. She gets to participate in the greatest mystery of bringing a soul into life. Even if a woman chooses not to birth a child, her body still contains and remains connected to the mystery of the Divine. And yet, we forgot and are okay being denied the sacredness of this.
We live in a culture that promotes disembodiment. In doing so, we live in our heads with our egos making up stories, with blindfolds that keep us from seeing the beauty of who we really are, and worst of all, we stop following Divine Intuition which stops us from acting from a place of Divine Love.
What we forget is that to bend to this patriarchal denial affects not only every woman, but also life itself. When we deny the mystery of the Divine Feminine, we also deny life at the core — the part that nourishes, creates, heals, transforms, and nourishes all of us. For the same sacred source from which we were all born comes the essence that gives meaning to our life and aligns our life’s divine purpose.
The Divine Feminine has been waiting.
On that beautiful Saturday morning, women and men gathered and heeded her calling. That day I walked with my sisters and brothers to honor the Divine Feminine in each of us even for those that do not hear her whispers yet or who continue to deny her existence.
With all my love,
PS… It also does not end at the march. I for one am done with complaining and I am choosing to be active instead. What are the topics and issues that are important to you? The Divine Feminine awaits our active participation in order to co-create with each of us a world that we truly desire.
The holidays are here. A time that for many of us is rich in traditions, rites, and rituals. Gift giving, gathering with loved ones, lighting candles, and feasting with certain foods that help us celebrate and pay homage to our ancestors.
The holidays regardless of religion, culture, language, country, or ethnicity are high holy days because they serve as a reminder of the holy that is inside of us, that surrounds us, and that connects and binds each of us on this big beautiful blue planet.
The holy days invite us all to love and to love boundlessly. An invitation to love loving love – the practice of being present and loving for the sake of loving. To love not because one shares a home, a bed, or bloodlines, but to love because each person on this planet has arrived through Love, seeks to Love and be Loved, and will one day return to Love. It is a practice of loving fully in the now without asking or expecting anything in return.
For the threads that bind us are beyond borders and creed. They all begin in the heart. Love is the source of everything. For Love is another name for the Highest that goes by different names – God, Allah, Spirit, Universe, Goddess, El Shaddai, Yahweh, Dios, and so many more. No matter what the name, it all begins and returns to love.
2016 has been a very challenging year on so many levels. So many opportunities to feel apathy, hate, and to shut down. And as this year comes to a close, despite blue or red party, left or right, the particular name you call the Highest, wins or losses, all of it is an opportunity to practice love loving love. Even the melancholy that many experience during this time is a heart summons to practice love loving love with self.
Practice it when you pass others on the streets. Practice it when you are looking into your beloveds’ eyes. Practice it when someone cuts you off on the freeway. Practice it when you are with that one relative that challenges you the most. Practice it when you are the object of someone’s ignorance. Most of all, practice it with yourself for you above all others deserve to be loved by you.
Wishing you the most beautiful holiday season. May it be filled with bliss, compassion, peace, and a heart filled with love.
With all my love,
You are not reading this wrong. Don’t be you.
I remember being a little girl with my hair often a matted mess and frequently scabbed knees. I was unstoppable. I had scabs over scabs and I kept going. Falling down and getting hurt did nothing to keep me from exploring.
I was Wonder Woman in the morning, Princess Leia at school (yes, I had my mother do my hair in those famous buns), one of Charlie’s Angels after school (“Kelly Garrett“ of course. Jacqueline Smith’s character. We had the same real name after all), and somewhere before bedtime I was a doctor, President, a singer-dancer, and once in a while Batgirl. There were so many flavors and textures to myself that every moment provided a new discovery and a new manner of expressing ME.
Then somewhere along the way, I lost it.
I lost my ability to try on new ME’s. I lost the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional ME. I forgot to test and experiment with my different parts.
I bought into the misunderstanding that I had to pick one flavor and stick to it. In my innocence, I gave up the joy and gave into the “me” I thought would bring me love and acceptance from peers, school, family, and community. I forgot the sheer joy of being all my parts instead of the safest one. I turned off. Pretty girls don’t have scabbed knees after all.
When one turns off, the ego, the small self, the whatever you want to call it, will do everything in its powers to keep you confined. In its innocence, it convinces itself and you that your very survival on this planet depends on you staying constrained and fearful of testing new facets of you.
If you try, a 5-alarm fire goes off, you get tense, become anxious and depressed, and convince yourselves once more that you must remain turned off and give into fear. This can be an endless cycle until the moment you remember multi-faceted, brilliant YOU.
Don’t be you. Be instead the variety of YOU.
Be the you that stops and smells the roses. Be the you that shakes the bootie when a great song comes on or just because you want. Be the you that is the dreamer willing to recognize boundless limits. Be the you that loves whole heartedly without asking for anything back. Be the you that believes in pure imagination. Be the you that is curious and willing to fail because staying still is even riskier. Be the you that is playful and silly. Be the you that lives a turned-on life choosing pleasure and bliss.
Originally posted on 10/24/2016
This is my favorite time of the year. The stillness of Winter giving way to the allure and grace of Spring making this season the perfect invitation to one of my favorite morning rituals — walking barefoot in my garden breathing in the blossoming roses, narcissus, and gardenias. These blooms have also become my teachers schooling me in trusting that everything is taken care of, that there is a divine flow in life. Nature does not worry or become preoccupied with stories after all. It simply is.
Being in my garden helped me feel more connected to my body as my senses relish the fragrant blooms, enjoy the mosaic of colors, hear the birds chirp, and feel the dampness of the ground under my feet (yes, I often walk barefoot). My mind empties for a moment and becomes still long enough to be reminded that life can be beautiful no matter what is happening. It is in these moments that I feel the most connected to myself and to the Universe. It is also in these moments that I experience myself most embodied and most alive.
My invitation to you is to slow down and welcome more stillness even if for a moment. Pick an activity you are already doing. Allow yourself to enjoy your sensuous body by opening yourself to tune in — see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste what surrounds you. Notice any shifts that occur in the body and let yourself follow your own inner compass to aliveness.
Originally posted on 5/24/2016