My Frenemy & How it Changed My Life

There was a time that pausing, and resting was my frenemy.

 

The minute I opened my eyes, I’d begin the mad rush of my day.  I’d jump out of bed and wouldn’t stop until bedtime.  My tightly filled appointment and to-do list were my honor badges.  The goddess I worshipped.

 

In my effort to feel good about myself,  I had bought into the belief that busyness and tiredness represented my worth—look how busy I am?  I must be doing something right? My ego felt valued, worthy, important and perhaps even special.

 

And somehow,  I was always surprised when a migraine appeared.  I’d lie upset that I had to cancel appointments, meetings, and commitments.  I felt betrayed because the eating right, the yoga, and my other self-care did nothing.  My ego would chime in letting me know how disappointing, unworthy and wrong I really was.

 

Then one day, amidst throngs of pain, I made a life changing decision—I asked my migraine what it was there to teach me?  With very little hesitation, it shared with me, “I arrive to set you free.”

 

Somewhere deep inside I had bought into a misunderstanding that to pause, to rest, to give my body exactly what it needed was unnecessary.  To create space to breathe, to rest, and be with myself was a waste of time, perhaps even weak.

 

“A pause gives you
breathing space
so listen
to the whispers
of the real you
waiting to happen.”
― Tara Estacaan

 

What I know now is that it’s in the pause that the richness of life is really lives and thrives.  It is the space where healing and growing happen. It is where we meet ourselves.  Where the freedom to be present and alive in the now flourishes.

 

I bought into busyness when my dad passed away.  To sit with depth of grief and loss was incredibly difficult for me.  In my effort to help myself feel better, busyness as the perfect coping skill It kept me in a whirlwind where I did not have to feel and acknowledge my pain.  It was the best that I could do at that time.

 

As coping skills go, busyness worked well until it was time to heal and change—until I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

 

When we pause, we allow for our body-heart-mind to connect and inform of us.  It allows for us to re-member our inner knowing.  To listen to the Wise One inside us always there to free us from what no longer serves.

 

And, I did not do this alone.

 

I sought help. I got myself a network of cheerleaders, supporters, teachers and mentors—therapist, acupuncture, Chinese doctor, Western doctor, a life coach—not all at once but as my body requested and what would support my growth.  I also spoke with my friends and family telling them what I was working on so that they could be my allies and hold me accountable.

 

Pause.

Close your eyes.

Breathe.

Connect with yourself.

 

What does your Inner Wise One, your body need from you?

 

No need to wait for a migraine, back pain or dis-ease to let you know.

 

You got my support.

 

Love,

Jacqueline

Shine Bright from the Inside Out

Come join a transformative and intimate gathering with other amazing and powerful women as we EXPLORE and REDEFINE the practices of SELF-CARE and SELF-LOVE.

 

You will learn and uncover differnt ways to Shine Brightly from the Inside Out that feel good, that don’t take extra time or add more commitments.

The event will be open for sharing and you will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching too.

 


Self-Care is care provided for you, by you.

It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them.

Self-care is a practice that helps fuel your desires and dreams because, at its core, it is about practicing integrity with yourself.It involves actively setting intentions for yourself — being honest with yourself and others about your needs, desires, fears, and dreams.

Self-Love begins with self-appreciation, for if we do not value ourselves, how do we honestly honor someone else? Many women believe that loving yourself is selfish and narcissistic.

Self-love starts by giving love, attention, and care to yourself, so that we can be filled to overflow with radiance and then be able to share, love, create, and nurture from that space… SHINNING BRIGHTLY FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

The flow of love and self-love is giving and receiving. True self-love is no where near selfishness and narcissism.

Why it’s important to start with self-love?

Because ultimately we are the ones responsible for our actions, choices, and the outcome of those actions and choices.

Self-love is a practice of filling the yearning from your soul because it is about practicing listening to what we desire, acceptance of it, and taking action towards it.

Self-love is important because it is process of remembering where our genuine power resides. When we are in self-love, we say no to what does not serve us and are more willing to say yes to what brings us more aliveness.

Don’t miss this event. It is going to be rich and you will walk away with more insight, learnings, and a new way to shine brightly in the world.

Happiness Happens

Have you ever noticed how easily we feel happiness when we are around a puppy?

Research has also shown that owning a dog is good for your overall wellbeing—a dog never judges and is always there to listen.

A dog does not have requirements to give you love.  It simply does.  Who else becomes wildly excited to see you because you have been missed for the mere minute you left the room?

Each of my dogs (and sometimes cats… yes, it’s a bit of a zoo in here at times) greets me with soulful, loving eyes every time I look at them.  My dogs don’t care that I lost it 5 minutes ago, that I made multiple mistakes, or that I have put on a few extra pounds.

Their response to us is void of blame or needing approval.

Dogs are mirrors into our very soul.

Because dogs remind us, on a soul level, that which brings us to a state of utter happy-happy-joy-joy is loving ourselves wholeheartedly—no shoulda’s, coulda’s, woulda’s, or need for any approval or justification outside ourselves to feel happy.

Happiness: An inside job

 

Happiness is a state of being.  When we divert too far away from it, we will go through great effort to feel it again.

It feels good to feel happy. We feel light, carefree, and it feels so darn yummy to laugh!  Our endorphins and other feel-good hormones fire off and life feel so sweet in the happy-filled moments.

And, happiness many times is a shared event.  We are often in company of others having heart-felt connecting moments with them.   Even if life is not marching how we desire, when we experience happiness, it all feels good right there and then.

What we forget is that these moments open us to the state of happiness already inside ourselves.  We forget that it is always there waiting for us (just like my beloved dogs).  It’s not the person or the circumstance that provided our happy, it was us giving ourselves the permission to crack open and let it out.

When we practice happiness from the inside out, we open to knowing that we can access and tap into it at any time.  The key to this opening being Self-Love.

Self-Love being the practice of seeing ourselves through eyes of acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness.  We don’t judge ourselves for not knowing any better or making choices out of our ego’s need for approval or being liked.

We then derive happiness from accepting all our parts—the good, the bad, and the not so pretty.  From here, we also nurture integrity with ourselves—when what we say, do and even think, are in harmony despite what the ego mind demands.

“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 

– Mahatma Gandhi

Our choices and actions are then based on love, not fear.  No worry about others accepting us or loving us more or less, because of who we are.

And, as a reminder happiness begets more happiness… love begets more love.  When we love and feel happy, we attract more of this from the world around us.

 

How to create more Happiness and Self-Love?

  1. Don’t believe everything you think.  Just because you think it, it doesn’t make it real.  The brain is the great creator and it will create stories that are not true.
  2. Forgive YOU.  You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, or ashamed? It’s time to let that go for reals.  And, as a reminder, you did the best you knew how back then.  No Monday morning quarterbacking!  Everything is a learning experience.
  3. Release the need for approval.  Now this doesn’t mean you don’t consider the consequences of your behavior or choices have on others.  What it does mean is that you can be the sweetest, juiciest summer peach, and someone will just not like peaches.
  4. Let yourself feel it all.  It’s healthy and normal to feel unwanted and have negative feelings.  It’s all part of being human and all ways to practice acceptance and self-love.
  5. Reach out to family, friends, healers, therapists, coaches—whoever you need to help you through the tough times. You are not expected to go through them alone.  To ask for help is a huge act of love.
  6. Shake and move your miraculous body.  Moving our body helps the body relax, release toxins, and fire up the feel-good hormones.

Happiness happens.

Make sure it happens to you and that it happens often.

Love… and Happiness,

Jacqueline

 

PS:

Here’s how I usually start my daily pursuit of happiness.

Mornings with Lucy

Want to dive in deeper and get a little help making happiness happen?

For women

For men

See ya there!

Celebrate and Soak Up the Powerful Energy of Summer

Summer is here!

The time of the year when the Northern Hemisphere is celebrating it’s connection to Light while the Southern Hemisphere emerges itself in to Dark.  A time of the year when both these energies are in balance in our beautiful planet.

The days are longer, the evenings warm, outdoor fun all around and time off beckons us.  All invitations to step out, surround ourselves by others, and relish in the body.

The sun and the hot days are good and essential reminders to find balance between frolic and laziness, summer plans and doing nothing, time with friends and family and time for self-reflection and introspection.

This is the season to step away from the usual and step into some fun in the sun.

Summer is the perfect bidding by Mother Nature to nurture and tend to our garden so that we can see the harvest in the fall.

 

Now is the perfect time to spend outdoors to soak up powerful sun energy and honor the sun’s warmth with reverence and gratitude for the abundant blessings in life.

This season is also a gateway to celebrate our own inner fire and power.  The power that brings things to fulfillment, expanding and brightening our lives.

It a time to remember that we, like the sun, contain the power to nurture and sustain, and that we have a ability (and responsibility) to burn as brightly as we can keeping ourselves, loves, and dreams bright, warm and alive.

Our ancestors, whose life was more closely attuned to the cycles of the sun, celebrated the summer by building great bonfires connecting them to the power of the Sun and its season.

How Can You Celebrate and Soak up the energy of summer?

 

Step Outdoors into Morning Glory

Step outside first thing in the morning, and dig your feet into the earth. Soak up the rays of the sun’s light.  Grab your morning coffee and feel the morning surround you.

Breathe in the Sun

Stand in the sunlight with feet apart, and palms / arms up in the air in a posture to receive, facing up.  Close your eyes. Breathe. Notice and  absorb all the healing rays of the sun’s light and warmth all over your body.  Imagine it penetrating every cell.  Letting the warmth really seep in.

Water Practice

Water is a conduit and a connector. We ourselves are about 80% water.  When we connect to water – both is inside and outside of ourselves, we are opening up to the natural foothold with all that is Divine.  Water provides a cooling effect and provides a balance with heat. Create or step into a body of water. You can fill a bathtub, throw water balloons, or simply dip your toes into a pool.

Wishing you much frolic, joy, balance, and summer bliss.

 

Love,

Jacqueline

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

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

 

In a dark spot….

Here it goes….

It has been quite the year so far!  Without having to go into too much detail — There is so much happening in our world… fast and nonstop.  Every day we are being bombarded with bad news, scary news, and it does not seem to be getting any better.

In an effort to help myself feel better (or at least stop feeling so much, so much of the time), I led myself right into a dark hole.  Admitting this does not feel good. 

But it’s the truth. I haven’t felt as inspired or driven as I usually do in life.  There has not been much to feel good about or be motivated by.  This encourages the mind to focus even more on the negative and eventually apathy sets in.

In the dark moments, I’ve even struggled to feel inspired and alive.

I will also admit that the dark can be inviting.  The dark is not all bad for in the dark we also find a sense of being cocooned and feeling safe.  Our shadow parts also are not seen here.  But, it is definitely not a place where aliveness and inspiration live.

And since I’m not one to stay in the “dark places” too long, I decided to s-l-o-w…w-a-y down and inquire within, “What the heck is going on here?  What is trying to get my attention here?  What is is that my soul is trying to get me to learn?”

When I finally let myself be still and quiet and, most of all, be okay with where I was, the answer was crystal clear.

Darn!  I had lost my way again.  I had gone back to my best coping skill of all…. BUSYNESS!  ARGH!

Oh how I see it now!  I had been running around like a chicken with her head cut off.  Errands, meetings, family, friends, cleaning (every drawer and closet… busy is my frenemy), and even turning things I love to do into obligations.  Meeting things with heaviness because there was no time to enjoy…go… go … go.

Can you relate at all? Have you ever been there too? 
(I know I am not alone in this).

Having been in this hole before, I knew what I needed to do….

I had to get out of my comfort zone and reengage with what helps me come alive.  I had to reengage with pleasure.

Because when we feel pleasure, our brain chemistry changes.  The happy receptors get triggered and we react less to fear and anger, and we become open to aliveness and inspiration.

And here is what I did:

1. Be in nature.  Go outside, not just looking out a window.  Go BE IN nature. Step on the grass or dirt barefooted.  Breathe. Feel the breeze on your face.  Smell a rose or a gardenia (heaven on earth).  Birds chirping.  Mother Nature always creates masterpieces for us to enjoy.

2.  Shake my bootie.  This is a game changer.  I will shake and dance at any time of the day with or without music: A shoulder shimmy, a hip circle, twirling my hands, and sometimes just shaking… literally!  I even do it in between appointments and sometimes with my clients.  It is the easiest and most effective way to get out of my head (where the scary stories exist) and get back into my body where pleasure lives.

3. Eat slowly.  Notice what you are eating.  What is the texture? What part of the pallet get pleasantly triggered? Food is fuel for your body and your soul.  It is sensual and pleasure-filled.

4. Stop and look around.  Your beauty is being reflected back to you ALL the time.   Try it right now…. Stop for a moment and look around you.  What is beautiful around you?  What triggers your vision to feel more alive and engaged in your surroundings? The feminine requires beauty. If you don’t look for it, you won’t see it. And don’t look at the dust bunnies and what needs to be cleaned… it will be there later.

5.  Find the most pleasurable part of your body right now.  It can be sexual, but the truth is that for most women, pleasure is many times not connected to sex or to our sexual organs.  Perhaps it’s running your fingers through your hair?  May be it’s your running your toes up your leg?  Consider tickling the roof of your mouth with your tongue.  What feels good?  And are you willing to let yourself experience it exactly when you need it?

And it worked!  I’m feeling like myself again.

The world has not changed much, but how I relate to it, how I respond to it comes from a more enjoyable place.  One that is definitely filled with more aliveness and inspiration.

So how does this all relate to you?

Well… you see #’s 1-5 above? The part about the “pleasure”?

I am CERTAIN that we all need a little of that.

It will fuel you.

It will inspire you.

It will push you beyond your comfort zone. (Yes, we all need that push!)

It is the medicine to what ails your body, heart, mind, and spirit.

So here is my invitation….

I want to invite you to step out from whatever you are doing and join me for an evening of refueling and inspiration. 

Pleasure is our birthright and a way that we can heal, expand, and grow as women.

This event will focus on pleasure being medicine – healing and how to use it to more fully align and nourish your body, heart, mind, and spirit connection FOR YOU.

You will walk away with practical ways to support yourself to feel more alive, more sensual in your own skin, and most importantly, learn your own unique pleasure blueprint.

Best part?

Because of the warm and intimate nature of this event, you’ll enjoy learning and connecting, even if you’re a chronic introvert like me.

Register now and take advantage of the GAL PAL discount.

If you’re curious or have questions, please email info@jacqelinemendez.com or call me 818.804.1284, so we can set up a time to talk.

So looking forward to sharing this magical night with you.

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

Freeing Your Wild Soul

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….

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. No matter what you do, keep on moving until the “energy” subsides.
  5. 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,

Jacqueline

 

 

 

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

Movement Is The Song Of The Body

 

Many times when I speak of movement, people automatically think that I am speaking of dancing. Of course dancing is movement, but that is not exactly what I mean.

We live in a disembodied world — sitting endless hours at our desks, commuting long-distance maintaining relationships through our phones and laptops, and leaning on our intellect to solve or get our to-do list under some kind of order. The result? Loss of authentic connection with ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.

Movement is the key to feeling more alive, generating creative solutions, enjoying growth, and connecting more fully and deeply in gratifying and enjoyable ways. Movement naturally generates more vitality, freedom, joy, and clarity in everything we do.  Movement allows us to embody and connect with ourselves in an authentic and genuine manner.  It allows us to engage parts of body, heart, and soul that we may have forgotten.  As we connect with ourselves, we also connect with our loved ones.

When one learns to slow down and practice movement, what occurs is the Picturediscovery of the magic and wisdom of your body.  It is not about performance.  It’s about learning and practicing movement that allows you to tune out the world and tune into your heart and soul.  Movement is an opening to feeling and hearing the nuances, the lyric and notes that your body, in alignment with your heart and soul, are writing for you.  The mind is a wonderful vehicle to decipher the world yet it is also a great story-inventor.  The body does not make up tales but helps us unravel them through tension, relaxation, and pleasure… the verses and rhythms of life.

As a therapist and coach, my commitment is to help my clients co-create the life and love of their dreams.  Having each of them sit and talk is reinforcing the pattern of being disembodied.  Many of clients know that movement, breath, and body-focused exercises are used often is sessions because these are the gateways to the authentic self.  Many times themes and issues are uncovered more gracefully than with talk therapy alone.

So what exactly does one move… any part of the body that inspires and whispers to you. Start with stretching your arms over your head as you twirl your hands, undulate your hips, breathe while moving your belly up and down.  Play your favorite song and move to it in ways that you normally don’t.  Do the Hokey Pokey… yes, the one from childhood, remember how much fun you had back then?

The body is a fountain of inspiration and wisdom. Move and let it sing to you.

All for now.

Love,

​Jacqueline

Originally posted on 7/20/2016