Archive: November, 2015

November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving

Yesterday I loaded up the car and headed to Central Oregon. My daughter napped for the first hour and as I drove I thought about previous Thanksgivings.

As a child we drove three hours to my grandparents house each year. I would sprawl out in the back of our van and read my Nancy Drew books the entire drive.

I thought about last Thanksgiving when we came to this same ranch and I sat with my dear friend as we watched our kids pile up pillows and leap off the couch into the fluffy mountain. I watched my dear girl soar through the air and squeal with delight. In that moment she was less baby and more big girl.

I remembered the Thanksgiving years ago when I had a migraine and stayed home alone. Trying to sleep. Feeling sorry for myself as I pressed an ice pack against my head.

And I thought about the last Thanksgiving I spent with my dad. 2011. I hoped I was pregnant, but it was too early to take a test. The whole family gathered in Michigan. Dad was bald from the chemo. We set up folding tables in the living room of my childhood home so everyone would eat together. And my dad said a prayer before the meal where he singled us each out with his gratitude. Lots of tears.

Today on my drive I also thought about all of the things for which I am grateful. I counted my blessings (and lost count).

And here we are. There is snow. There is food. There are children laughing. And there is lots of love. After three Thanksgivings together we have our rituals and traditions. This is my family. Not my family of origin (We will gather with them in Michigan at Christmas time), but my family.

Family takes all shapes and forms and sizes. I’m thinking of you today as you celebrate or don’t celebrate. I’m thinking of you as you gather with family or friends or don’t. I’m thinking of you if you feel alone or unsupported. My hope is that even if this Thanksgiving is hard or sad or frustrating that you have memories of other love-filled holidays. My hope is that today for even just a moment you love and feel loved.

Filed under: Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays — admin @ 9:18 am

November 20, 2015

I’m still saying, “Yes!” to Paris

Image by Robert Jahn

Image by Robert Jahns

People have asked me if I’m still going to Paris after last week’s terrorist attacks.

The short answer is “Yes!”

I will not live in fear.

I will not be careless. I will not knowingly put myself or anyone else in danger.

I am also aware that fear, tragedy, violence, terror – it can happen anywhere. It can happen in Paris. It can happen in Beirut. It can happen in Baghdad. It can happen at home.

And so I live my life in the only way I know how. With love, with pleasure, with connection, with joy, with gratitude, with faith (and maybe some tears too).

And while pleasure may seem frivolous at a time like this. I believe it is necessary.

Pleasure builds resiliency.

With so much darkness and heartbreak in this world, it’s essential to also focus on the good. Don’t ignore the hard or pretend it isn’t happening…but don’t let yourself be consumed by it. Feel the sadness, honor your grief and reach for love and joy and pleasure. This spring I will be doing that in Paris. Won’t you join me?

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”― Victor Hugo

Filed under: Paris, Retreat, Trust, Women — admin @ 3:28 pm

November 18, 2015

Do You Owe Your Body an Apology?

belly love

How do you connect with your body on a regular basis? Do you thank your legs when you apply your lotion. Do you caress your belly with love when you are in the shower? Do you look in the mirror and say, “Hello, Gorgeous!” each day?

What happens when you look in the mirror?

If you are like most people, you may be quick to notice the things you don’t like about your appearance. You may ONLY notice the things you don’t like. More than that, you may speak to your body (and yourself) in a way you would never speak to anyone else.

Do you call yourself fat? Or old? Or ugly?

Would you say any of that to a friend?

Do you suck in your stomach, or lift up your chin?

Would you tell your friend to suck in her stomach?

How do you talk to your body?

And how do you talk about your body?

If your lover tells you he adores your breasts, how do you respond?

If someone tells you you look great, how do you respond?

How do you describe yourself to others? Do you talk about your glorious thighs and your breathtaking butt?

If you spoke to a young child the way you speak to yourself, would it be considered abuse?

Do you believe that your body isn’t affected by the poison you are spewing. If you call yourself fat often enough, you will start to believe it. If you obsess over the lines on your face, pretty soon that is all you will see. Your words matter. What you say matters. How you treat yourself matters.

Do you owe your body an apology?

Look in the mirror and apologize. You can do this with a specific body part.

Dear stomach, I’m sorry I called you flabby.

And then say something you love about that body part.

I love that you housed my baby for 9 months. Thank you!

Do this over and over with all of the parts of yourself you have disowned or criticized.

When you look in the mirror, notice what looks good. Look for your beauty Acknowledge your beauty.

And express gratitude to your body.

Dear mouth, thank you for being so quick to smile! I love the way red lipstick looks on you.

Dear legs, thank you for keeping me moving. I’m so grateful that you work so well.

Choose your words. Be mindful of how you speak to and about your body.

And infuse your body with love whenever you can. When you put on lotion, send your body love. When you lather up in the shower, notice how great your body feels under your fingertips.

If there are things you don’t love about your body, by all means, work on changing them. But you don’t have to be hateful to yourself (and your body) in the meantime. You can still speak and act with love!

Nothing good comes from you hating your body. You can’t hate yourself thinner or younger or prettier. You won’t feel better about yourself if you hate your body. You won’t feel better about other people if you hate your body. Treating your body poorly won’t help you in any way. It just makes you feel bad.

Loving your body will make your life better. Loving your body will help you love others. Loving your body will spark gratitude for all of the amazing things it can do. Loving your body will enrich your life!

Filed under: Body-Image, Change, Self-love — admin @ 10:45 am

November 16, 2015

30 Days of Pleasure

I had such a delightful experience during The Pleasure Project. It was wonderful (and sometimes challenging) to commit to pleasure every day. Some days I had to laugh as I was given my own medicine (like the day my water heater exploded all over the place which was the same day I had written about choosing pleasure, even when life is hard).

lipstick pleasure

I am guided by pleasure and do my best to connect to pleasure regularly, and having pleasure as a daily practice was so helpful! It became a habit. It was a regular and lovely part of my day. And I’ve received such sweet feedback from the other participants so I’ve decided to keep The Pleasure Project open. You can register at any time and your 30 days will start as soon as you sign up. I believe that practicing pleasure will deeply enrich your life.

tiny flower

You can read more about the Pleasure Project, how it works and what you can expect here.

pleasure leaves

Now is a great time to embrace pleasure. The holidays can feel overwhelming and it’s easy to put your attention on others. Give yourself the gift of pleasure. I will continue to use the tag #pleasureproject on instagram as I share the ways that I’m cultivating pleasure.

Filed under: Class, Pleasure — admin @ 4:09 pm

November 7, 2015

Foreplay or Boreplay?

Marriage kissing softly in bed

I hear from a surprising number of people who find foreplay boring. Sometimes they tell me it’s too predictable. Sometimes they tell me they don’t like the way their partner touches them. Sometimes they tell me they are simply going through the motions to get to the part of sex they really enjoy.

I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that there are some people who truly don’t like foreplay. And if that is the case for you, no judgement. That’s your preference.

Most of the time I’m working with people who don’t know what their capacity for foreplay is.

They are bored with it because they are checked out during it.

They aren’t sure what the point of foreplay is.

They feel insecure about who they are as a lover.

They feel lost.

They don’t like how their partner is touching them and they don’t know how to ask for something else.

They doubt what they want or like because their partner has told them “everyone else I’ve been with loves this” or “every other woman likes to be touched like this.”

They say they have lost that “passion” that drove them when they first starting making love with their partner.

Or they feel like they aren’t “doing it right.”

Occasionally I hear from people who feel too exposed or vulnerable during foreplay. They feel selfish or uncomfortable when their partner focuses on them.

Here are a few things to help bring energy and enjoyment into your foreplay.

Curiosity – Foreplay doesn’t have to be rehearsed or “perfect.” Let yourself be curious. Ask your partner how something feels. Experiment. Play. People are often afraid of looking foolish during sex or trying something new because it feels too risky. If you don’t try something new, you risk getting bored or going through the motions. Try a different kind of touch, a different pressure, a different texture. Focus on a different body part. Practice a different kind of kiss. And as you try something new, follow your partner’s response (notice her body, her breath, any sounds she makes).

Sensuality – Lead with your senses. What are you seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing? More than that, titillate you senses. What would your senses enjoy? What do you want to taste? Can you hear your partner’s breath or heartbeat. What do you want to feel with your fingertips and how does your body yearned to be touched? Open your eyes, what do you see?

Pleasure – Embrace pleasure. What would feel good? What would you enjoy? Perhaps it’s less about touch right now and more about hearing your partner’s voice whispering something in your ear. If you aren’t sure what will feel good, then let yourself be curious. Try something new and then really check in with yourself. Did I like that? What might I enjoy more? Connect with your pleasure outside of sex so that it’s easier to cultivate pleasure in the bedroom. What feels good? What satisfies you? Or practice touch and pleasure on your own and then share what you like with your partner.

Just like sex isn’t one size fits all – Foreplay is highly unique. It’s up to your to tune into your body and your pleasure. It’s up to you to get clear about what feels good. It’s up to you to know what turns you on! Your pleasure is yours. Give yourself permission to take the time and energy to make it really enjoyable!

Filed under: Communication, Intimacy, Pleasure, Receiving, Sensuality, Sexuality, arousal — admin @ 2:58 pm