Ah, to embody love

Ah, to embody love.

A practice many think begins when we first fall in love.

But, one that I have come to believe begins when we first fall out of love with love.

Because our invitation to re-embody love often arrives when we have experienced hurt, disappointment, and heartache.  When heartbreak cracks us wide open.

We become students of our body, heart, and mind so that we know what nourishes us—what grows the heart bigger and helps us give less value to the creative stories of the mind.

There is a willingness to release false notions of what it means to love and be loved, so that we then can let go and love ourselves more fully.

We practice self-forgiveness because we start to see that self-judgement and self-recrimination only exists to keep ourselves small, dim, and enslaved to hurt and anger.

We practice forgiving others because blaming and judging others is only a reflection of ourselves.

Embodying love does not necessarily mean feeling good and in the flow of love all the time.

It is about being present to the natural opening and closing of the heart that, to remain in flow, must close and open without imposition.

Many times we wrong ourselves and convince ourselves that we are bad for not always being in our loving.

And when we do, we miss the opportunity to inquire within… 

What do I need to nourish myself so that I can love more? 

What thoughts and behaviors can I let go that block me from being in my loving? 

What can I forgive of another so that I can love more freely?

For the answers to these questions lead us back to loving love for love’s sake.

In the end, to embody love is a practice of continuously engaging in the cycle of acceptance, presence, forgiveness, and open-heartedness with ourselves.

Loving you,

Jacqueline

How My Heart Cracked Wide Open

If you have spent time with me or have read previous blogs, you know that I am a HUGE believer that all relationships—no matter how big or seemingly insignificantly—present themselves for our highest good.

Sometimes relationships reflect the parts that are difficult to accept or where we need the most healing.  Others reflect the parts that are admirable in others and that have yet to be uncovered in ourselves.

And, then there are the ones that remind us that we are indeed magical, brilliant beings.

This was exactly my experience when I met Cracker.

 

 

 

 

My beautiful friend Kate, an equine coach, invited me to come visit her and Cracker.

 

 

 

In many traditions, the HORSE is seen as a shaman having special medicinal and intuitive abilities healing illness or dis-ease at the soul level. 

 

Shamans gain insight or vision from working with the energies of nature such as rocks, trees, the wind, the land, and they gain knowledge from working with the spirits of animals and humans, particularly our ancestors who have transcended into the higher realms. For the shaman, everything is alive and holds wisdom.

In our first few minutes together, both Cracker and I were curious of each other.  I petted him and walked the pen.  Keenly aware that he was “seeing” me without coming too close.  Looking back, he was waiting for the moment when I was ready to receive his gift.

Horses have a deep connection to compassionate, nonjudgmental understanding.

Using their gentle and powerful presence, horses help people heal by holding sacred space for us to explore and find freedom from the constraints of our own stories and beliefs.  And, as ancient tales share, horses possess the power of Divination and clairvoyance which enables them to gift humans healing from what we cannot quite perceive.

 

Then suddenly without much warning, but with much gentleness and grace, Cracker came face-to-face with me.  He looked deeply into my eyes and began to breath into my heart space.

Have you ever looked into the liquid eye of a horse?  Magic and ancient wisdom resides there.

He began to lightly nudge me and breathing deeper over my heart, face, and eventually bowing in front of me.  He even stopped at my previously injured hip – an injury that occurred so long ago, but still pains me from time to time.

In order to communicate with the spirit or consciousness of others, a shaman will shift his/her own state of awareness through meditation or repetitive sounds such as that of a drum or rattle. Cracker used his breath like a drum.  Each exhale and inhale lulling my body into a deeper state of relaxation.

Tremendous energy simultaneously lifted and ascended.  Like a potent Shaman, Cracker lifted the heaviness that surrounded my heart and breathed in exquisite light into the tender places.

The closest word that expresses this experience is pure BLISS. 

He continued to make cribbing noises at my heart while looking into my eyes.  Continuously breathing in a rhythm that reminded me of the ceremonial rattle that I have used numerous times to bless my own clients.

It was beautiful, peaceful, and even though we were outdoors surrounded by other horses and animals, it was extraordinarily serene.  My body felt so light.  My heart cracked wide open.

 

My heart has remained open and I continue to feel the subtle nuances of the energies that surround me. 

It’s been a few weeks since my time with Cracker.  My eyes fill with tears every time I think of my time with him.  The resonance of that moment has stayed deeply within me.

Thank you, Cracker!  Thank you for your gift.  Thank you for cracking my heart WIDE OPEN!

 

Love,

Jacqueline

 

PS…. Wanna meet Cracker and see what gifts he has for you?  Join him, Katie, and
me on March 25th.  Here’s the link,
or check out the information below.

The Importance of Tapping into Your Innate Genius

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved January.

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

 

  1. You can start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.

In loving,

Jacqueline

 

PS… A little surprise for you… https://youtu.be/2Lskzq0yHWw

The Natural Ebb and Flow of Intimacy

Intimacy…

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,

Jacqueline

 

 

 

 

 

Screw the Goals… Cherish the Stillness

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom
– Francis Bacon

 

The New year is here! 

Happy 2018!

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,
Jacqueline

Holiday Blues: A Spiritual Perspective

 

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.

In loving,

Jacqueline

 

Holidays… Holy Days … Invitation to Practice Loving

 

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,

Jacqueline

“Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object never really matters.” 
– Marilynn Robinson

 

The Gifts of Pulling Away

“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 loving
Be compassionate
Be kind to yourself.
Be honest.
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.

In loving,

Jacqueline

The Gift of Thanks-Giving

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?

I have.

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

  1. Say thank you often.  Look for opportunities to say it — particularly to those who serve you.
  2. Practice not gossiping, complaining, or judging for the day.  (You can do it!)
  3. 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.
  4. 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,

Jacqueline

Love trumps hate.

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,

Jacqueline

Our body… The Greatest Learning Instrument… Enjoy the Ride

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:

 

  1. Breathe s-l-o-w-l-y feeling every inch of your being.  Notice where the tension is. Breathe into that area.
  2. 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.
  3. 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,

Jacqueline

 

Photo by Craig Whitehead

Valentine’s Day: An Invitation to Feel More Alive & to Relish Being in Your Own Skin

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).

#2. Presence

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

You are

…. a beautiful soul

… brilliant

… amazing

… breathtaking

… 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.

xoxo,

Jacqueline

 

 

Picture by Clay Banks

Sensual… Not Necessarily Sexual

the bonfire and the ego

I believe that we are all divine beings having a human experience. 

I often imagine that before we made the choice to come to the earth school, we all surrounded a giant bond fire where God tells us about a special “life” planned for us.   We are so happy to learn and grow and be human that we give a resounding “yes” to life in store for us.  We crave the all the lessons. We go all in.

We all chose to come here and inhabit our human body. We chose all the funny curves, bumps, and dimples. We chose our families – our mother, father, grandparents, and even our crazy uncle, because before we took human form, we knew that our bodies and our loved ones were the perfect ones to teach our souls the very lessons that we craved to learn.  As life progresses, we also attract others to help us learn lessons in a deeper level.  Of course, the one relationship that provides us the best and deepest opportunities of learning and growing is our romantic relationships.

From my point of view, the problem is that part of the human condition is that we forget that we chose. We forget so that we can actually learn the lessons. We forget so that we can fully live each moment.  We also develop an ego. We develop the ego to help us survive our human condition. Because as humans we crave attention and to feel loved. Our ego begins to believe that for us to be loved by others, we have to abide by certain conditions. Out of fear of losing this love, it begins to create stories and beliefs about how the world works and how we should be in it. I find that when a phrase such as “I am personally offended” is used it is our ego that is reacting.  

The ego is not a bad aspect. It is the part of us that has forgotten its divine nature.  It has forgotten about the excitement we felt at the bond fire.  The ego is the aspect of us that is the most human. It feeds on fear, judging, wronging others and ourselves, and keeps most aligned with how things should be.  I often see my ego as a young adolescent learning how to drive – unsure of herself, not sure how to deal with traffic, not knowing how turn, pressing the gas and break pedals too much or not enough. The driving instructor is my higher self, my divine nature – the aspect that remembers I am a soul. It gently reminds my fearful teenage driver how to focus and how to hold herself behind the driving wheel. Always with great love and compassion. From time to time, the driving instructor takes the wheel, moments of smooth driving, leaving the teenage driver afraid she did something wrong, but at times, although she may not always acknowledge aloud or even to herself, quite grateful.