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.
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.
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,
“He doesn’t really listen”
“She plays on the phone rather than spend time with me”
“It’s like I don’t even exist”
“I feel invisible”
“The dog gets more love than I do”
When a man or a woman checks out emotionally, mentally, or physically from their relationship, it can be for many the beginning of death of love.
Many men overwhelmed by demands of intimacy, vulnerability, and unresolved emotions from the past, give into feeling lost and check-out.
Inadvertently surrendering not to love, but to the unconscious fear that if he were to step into a fuller expression of himself, he would push others away, not be man enough, or be seen as a fraud.
Women in an effort to not rock the boat, not to make another feel bad, keep quiet and often agree to parameters of the relationships through default until one day this becomes impossible for her to continue.
Overwhelmed by demands of intimacy, vulnerability, and unresolved emotions from the past, she gives into feeling lost and checks-out. Inadvertently surrendering not to love, but to the unconscious fear that if she were to step into a fuller expression of herself, she would no longer belong and be seen as a fraud.
We can respond to the pulling away of the other by adding final blows or to see the pulling away as part of the cycle that can return us to greater love. Perhaps not always to greater love with our current partners, but greater love nonetheless.
Man stepping into a strong and powerful masculine energy by learning how to authentically express their authentic masculine presence without disempowering and disconnecting from the feminine. Without minimizing, blaming, or telling her she’s feeling or being too much.
One way to to start this, is my empowering and embodying those parts that he finds hard to love… the parts that have been castrated and often appear in moments when disempowering another or perhaps even abusing another.
The parts that remind you of how powerful you are because you can annihilate another with your hands, but it takes more courage not to.
Inner spaces that feel soft and vulnerable because those are the parts the connect you more deeply to the heart of humanity.
Woman remembering how powerful and raw the authentic feminine presence is without punishing or building walls. Dropping the need to blame or remind him of his failures.
Start by reminding yourself that you are not here to simply put up with things or to play nice. Your gift of intuition bestows your wisdom and truth telling. Your willingness, your courage of heart to offer ALL of you, even the uncomfortable, imperfect, chaotic parts is an invitation not only for you, but for your partner, your family, your tribe, the whole world to get out of our heads and into our hearts.
The truth is that NOW more than ever, both men and women have the opportunity for growth, healing, and learning on how to step more fully into their true self.
Both using their feeling lost, their checking-out as signposts that their higher self is requesting a look inward, to create space to heal before anyone can return more fully to love.
And to all parties involved…
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t take it personally
This December I am offering Men & Women (sex specific) events to help you step into a deeper, more graceful, love-filled expression of you. In January, I will be adding co-ed Love, Intimacy & Attraction events.