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

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

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See ya there!

From the Couch to the Bedroom: How to Talk to Your Clients About Sex

Being a therapist is a heart calling for many of us.

Many seek to serve and help clients heal, grow, and expand in powerful and graceful ways.

One things we know is true.

As clinicians we can help our clients more powerfully when we ourselves are willing to grow, heal, and expand.

A common place where many clinicians struggle is the space of sex and sexuality.

And it’s not your fault.

Why?

Because many of us received minimal to no education on how to go from from the couch to the bedroom and help our clients talk, process and heal sexually related problems.

And, most of our learning was based on reproductive anatomy.

Not on sexual and pleasure physiology, not beyond performance and function, and much less on holisitc sexuality.

Which means most of us were not encouraged to explore who we are as sexual beings, what are our sexual values, and what is our innate sexual expression.

The most common question I get from other therapists and clinicians is…

HOW DO I TALK TO MY CLIENTS ABOUT SEX?

If you are a therapist or clinician interested in learning how to go from the couch to the bedroom and helping your clients more powerfully with sex and sexuality issues, this workshop is for you.

In this workshop you will

  • Learn how to ask your clients about their sex life in simple and easy ways.
  • Learn about your own sexual values and beliefs and how they relate to your work.
  • Learn about holistic sexuality.
  • Learn what is sex therapy and about sex therapy as a niche.

Workshop is open to

Please inquire if your licesen/credential is not on this list

  • LMFT, LCSW, LPC
  • LMFT & LCSW Associates/Interns or graduates awaiting intern number

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

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