Emotional Needs, Emotional Triggers

emotional triggers, girl with light , woman with light, growth, relationship goals, romance

“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.” 

– Paulo Coelho

 

The other day I was sitting in my office was screaming began in the office next door.  A man and a woman screaming at the top of her lungs both saying the same thing, “You are not listening to me!” They were yelling so loudly the wall separating them for me began to quiver. I am pretty sure that this is exactly what the walls of their hearts have been feeling like for years.

Making requests of our romantic partners is the most difficult thing to do because of the attachment to how having that need will make you feel.

Having needs is not a bad thing. You have needs because at some point in your life, they served you. At an earlier time of your life, the experience taught you that surviving or succeeding in life depending on maintaining control over the need because it felt good to have it.

The more you became attached to these needs, the more he started to be on the lookout for circumstances that threaten you’re having them. This is how needs become emotional triggers.

And everything a partner does is under a microscope because you’re convinced that your misery is due to your partners inability to do what you’re needing in order to feel happy and fulfilled.

Back to the screaming couple for a moment……

There was a moment of silence followed by his yelling how sad and lonely he has felt not being able to share with her his real feelings. She screams back by blaming him for her own loneliness because of his interest in her. He began to weep. What are still screaming he shouted even louder, “I am afraid of being close to you or anyone.” Then something shifted, the yelling stopped.

Be aware of your emotional triggers.

The strings that have helped you to succeed are many times also your greatest emotional triggers. When you feel someone is not honoring what makes you special, especially in romantic partnerships, your brain perceives that the other is taking important things away from you then your emotions are triggered.

You react with anger or fear, then you quickly rationalize your behavior, responses, so they make sense.  What follows next is that you lose trust in your partner which only adds to your upset and frustration. You may even lose courage or react in a way that could hurt your relationships in the future.

The turn-key happens when you begin to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered.

When you can do this, you begin to create new neural pathways and bodily responses.  You then can discover if the threat you are perceiving is real or not.  And, when you can do this, you open up the opportunity to make a heart-felt response and request to what you actually want—comfort, understanding, attention, fun, affection, acceptance, safety, autonomy, balance, to be valued, freedom, included, loved.  The focus then becomes your actual need, not the control over your partner’s behavior or what they can do differently.

Being present for yourself… Shifting the emotional trigger.

Relax – It is not up to your partner to relax you, it’s up to you. Breath and release the tension in your body.  Count to 10, count to 100, take a walk, do push-ups.

Stop the monkey brain – clear your mind of all thoughts because you won’t know what to ask for unless you can think clearly.  Do a brain dump—write until it’s all out of your mind.

Center – Drop your awareness to the center of your body—the solar plexus—the spot between belly and your ribs.  It is said that this is the place of power and where we keep old feelings.  Put your hand over it.  Feel yourself breathe. This helps to further clear the mind and connect you back to you.

Focus – what is it that you are wanting?  Rather than focus on what your partner should be doing, what is that you want to feel—comfort, understanding, attention, fun, affection, acceptance, safety, autonomy, balance, to be valued, freedom, included, loved?

Once you have cleared your mind and refocused on your need versus your trigger, you can make a request of the heart.

Stay tuned for more… How to Make a Request from the Heart coming soon.

Love,
Jacqueline

Shine Bright from the Inside Out: Creating Your Best Year Yet!

If you are a woman ready to shine bright from the inside out and create the best year of your life?

This workshop is for you.

 

We are living in redefining times for women. Yet many feel stuck or lost in old learned paradigms of self-worth and self-value.

 

Many of us have been taught to look outside ourselves for validation while also undermining and hiding parts of ourselves in an effort to fit in and even feel loved and wanted.

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

 

Together we will uncover and learn different ways to Shine Brightly from the Inside Out that feel good, that don’t take extra time and that help you create your best year yet.

 

This event will have transformational exercises and be open for sharing as well as have opportunities to receive one-on-one coaching.

Self-love starts by giving love, attention, and care to yourself, so that you can be filled to overflow with radiance. And from there, be able to share, love, create, and nurture… allowing yourself to SHINE BRIGHTLY FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

 

It involves actively setting intentions for yourself—being honest with yourself and others about your needs, desires, fears, and dreams.

 

No other time has it been more important for women to redefine self-love.

Women today are being bombarded by polarizing and divisive issues, especially among themselves.

 

How we relate to the world is also evolving and many times faster than current cultural norms support.

 

Even though most women are active in the work force and continue to up-level in their professional lives, many feel challenged with ‘me time’ vs time with family, relationships, household obligations and feeling comfortable in their own skin.

 

Why is self-love essential for women?

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

And because of how the feminine brain is wired, self-care is easily sacrificed because happiness is measured through our relationships with others—women feel happy when their partners and/or their children are happy.

Self-love is a practice of filling the yearning from your soul because it is about 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.

 

Participants of this workshop will
  • learn about her self-love language and ways to nourish it
  • learn what enlivens her and helps her feel more comfortable in her own skin
  • learn practical and easy ways to practice self-love in the home, work and in relationships with others

Don’t miss this event. It is going to be rich. You will walk away with more insight, learnings, and new ways to shine brightly in the world all year long.

 

***EARLY BIRD AVAILABLE ***

Location provided upon registration.




To do anything in life…

Have you ever felt stuck, lost, frustrated, or lonely in moving forward with something—a decision, next steps, relationships, deepening in creative flow?

I have.

And I hated it!

I would then proceed to force myself, make myself sit with something until it got done and then be disappointed with the results.  I would even continue discussions with my partner until they became full-on fights.  None of this ever ended well.

Then after the failure or the fight, my negative self-talk would rip me apart.  This felt like an endless cycle leaving me feeling shittier each time.

Until I figured out that to do anything in life, I had to love myself first. 

Each moment—each failure, each fight, each moment of fear—was my inner knowing, my inner counselor, reminding me to pause and practice self-love

Fights between romantic partnerships erupt when one partner does not feel loved, validated or worthy by the other.

Feeling of failure happen when we feel that results we are getting don’t match what we desire.

We feel lonely, disconnected and forgotten not from our partners or the Universe, but from ourselves.

Those moments of stuck, frustration, upset, loneliness, and confusion have always been the HIGHER SELF reminding me to LOVE myself right there and then.

Next time you’re stuck,  feel lost, don’t know what to do, or feel unloved.  Pause.  Remember that whatever story you are telling yourself is… well… fake.

Instead, ask yourself, “How or what can I do right now, this very moment to be loving with myself—really, really show love to myself?”

When we practice loving ourselves first we are kinder, more generous, deepen our connection to Source and we are more willing to forgive—ourselves and others.

We don’t have to perform great feats.  Taking time to be with ourselves, to be still, to pay attention to the whispers of our inner wisdom is what is required. If you want to learn the importance of feeling it all  click here.

I find that when I do this, what is essential is to take a breath, to feel my feet on the ground and remind myself that I am okay.  From this place I can inquire what I want and how can I go about it from a calmer, more connected place.

Sometimes it has meant that I move my body, tend to my roses for a while, or even take a nap.

So next time you find yourself, stuck, fighting or at a loss for what to do next….pause.

Loving yourself is your greatest asset to getting anything done.

If you are needing support around this and you are in the L.A. area, check out my next Live Event for Women Shine Bright from the Inside Out, and I want to offer you the friends + family discount by using “LOVEMYSELF” at checkout, or reach out.

 

With much love,

Jacqueline

 

Enlivening Pleasure Now: Using Mindfulness, Embodiment, and Movement For Your Sex Therapy Practice

Presenting at AASECT Conference 2018

Change happens by giving clients a new experience of themselves in the moment. Often, sex therapists hesitate to bring experiential work into the room.
This workshop discusses theories of body-focused psychotherapy and the application to sex therapy.
Movement, the use of deliberate physical movement to facilitate the emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and spiritual integration of the individual by assisting them in re-inhabiting themselves, bringing them back into contact with their instinctual wisdom, sense of self, and embodied sense of knowing while releasing habitual muscular holding patterns that reinforce shutting down. This is done by guiding clients through the use of breath, mindfulness and sensor-awareness techniques, and deliberate physical movement and in doing so, increasing awareness and creation of pleasure in the body.
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to: discuss the reasons and benefits for including the body, body awareness, and movement in sex therapy, couple’s therapy, and group interventions; integrate at least one body-focused technique and how it might expand their effectiveness in working with clients with diverse culture and languages to assist in increasing body-awareness and pleasure.

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 Most Essential Ingredient for Hot and Sexy Love

It’s February!  The month we celebrate love. 

But before we dive into how to have a sizzling and hot V-Day, let’s stop for a moment and talk about the most essential ingredient to hot and sexy anything…. (drumroll)…. SELF-LOVE.

By definition self-love is having regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.

In my work with individuals and couples as well as my own journey, the practice of self-love is not always easy.  Our small, ego mind in an effort to keep us safe, can go on endless loops of negative self-talk and sabotaging behavior. 

This leads us to seek validation and love from others, rather than ourselves, which almost always results in our feeling unsatisfied and unloved.

And, when we don’t practice self-love, it can often lead us to being needy and unloving which is a sure way of putting out any sexy fires.

For only when we are truly in alignment with our own beautiful spirit, can we completely and authentically give and receive real love.

Because when we love ourselves, we know that we can give without becoming resentful or depleted. 

We give love because we are full of love.  We are fully immersed in the deep flow of love and loving.

The practice of Self-Love

Slow Down and Be Mindful.  People who have more self-love tend to know themselves well. They take the time to slow down and consider what they feel, think and want.  They take others into consideration when making choices, but not solely on making others happy or sacrificing self.

Know the No’s. The greatest lesson in Tantra practices is knowing your no before saying yes to anything. You will love yourself more when you set limits and say no to things that do not align and genuinely serve you.  And, when you do say yes, it is a wholehearted agreement you will not regret later.

Taking Care of Business.  Practice good self-care. People who practice self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.

Kindness and Forgiveness.  We can be so hard on ourselves!  There really is no need to punish ourselves for mistakes that ultimately prove pathways to healing, learning and growing.  The greatest act of self-love is acceptance of your being imperfectly human.  We all do the best we can given our our choices in any given moment.  Hindsight is 20/20.  Stop judging from that view. 

Living with Intentional Desire.  You will accept and love yourself more when you live through intention and desire, purpose and really wanting.  You will make decisions that support this intention, and create steps towards heart-felt desires.  Your heart will burst for YOU when you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do.

Amidst lovers and loving, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves is learning how to fully accept and love ourselves.

The act of being our own hot and sexy lover… before we are this for someone else or invite a lover in.  

For now, go practice loving yourself BIG.  Next week we will talk about lovers loving love hot and sexy together.

xoxo,

Jacqueline

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

 

 

 

 

 

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