November 9, 2018

Simple ways to start a gratitude practice

I know things are hard for many people right now. I also know that during the month of November there is a lot of talk about gratitude. Some people participate in 30 Days of Thanks and post daily gratitude on social media. Some people have their own personal or family traditions that center around gratitude. For the last two years my daughter and I have created a Gratitude Wreath during the month of November.

gratitude wreath

We start with a large circle and a bunch of leaves that we cut out of paper. And every day we each write down something we are grateful for on one leave and then by the end of the month we have a wreath full of thanksgiving and happy memories!

I know that gratitude doesn’t “solve everything.” Gratitude doesn’t erase pain. Gratitude doesn’t cancel out heartbreak. Gratitude doesn’t make everything better. However, I often feel better when I make space for gratitude. Gratitude can give us perspective and it can also improve our mood or help us feel less hopeless.

Here are some ways you can start a gratitude practice –

  • Do 30 Days of Thanks (or something similar) – name what you are grateful for every day for 30 days.
  • Keep a gratitude journal -

You can do this alone by writing down 1-3 things you are grateful for each day. Or you can do it with your partner. Creating a gratitude journal with your partner can be a great way to highlight what is working in your relationship and your love and appreciation for each other, even when things are hard.

Use a notebook or journal and each taking turns writing something every day. Write about gratitude you feel for your partner or gratitude for your relationship. You can write big things, small things, silly things, sexy things, specific things – anything you are thankful for. On days when you are frustrated or angry with each other, notice if you can still find something you are thankful for.

As you move forward with this, you’ll end up with a large list of things you are grateful for and things your partner is grateful for. If you are feeling sad or frustrated you can read some of the entries to remind yourself of how you have both felt…or on special days or anniversaries you can reread your entire journal.

Start small. Choose one thing you can do every day. Or choose to start with a limited time (one week, 30 days, three months, etc). And notice how you feel as you start to take inventory of the things (or people) you are thankful for!

Filed under: Family, Gratitude, Presence, Relationship, Retreat — admin @ 2:23 pm

October 16, 2018

How do you tend your erotic fire?

How do you keep the romance, intimacy and passion alive in your relationship?

passionate couple

I like to call this energy your erotic fire. It’s that passionate and connecting energy between partners.

And if you know anything about a fire, it needs to be tended. It needs to be fed and cared for, because once the fire goes out completely it takes more energy to get it started again.

The erotic fire acts as a thread between sexual encounters. It can help you and your partner feel connected. If there is no erotic fire in a relationship it can take a lot of energy for one or both partner to show up sexually. Without an erotic fire it can feel like you have to go from zero to sixty when you initiate sex. With the erotic fire there is already warmth and connection there and it’s much easier to create sexual heat.

How do you tend the erotic fire in your relationship?

Do you flirt?
Send a sexy text?
Plan a romantic date or getaway?
Compliment your partner?
Take a class, read a book or go to counseling?
Make out (without the expectation of sex)?
Make time for emotional intimacy?
Snuggle?
Communicate about sex?
Woo each other?
Set aside time for just the two of you?

And what about your own erotic fire? How do you connect to your own sexual energy?

Here are some things you might try to connect to your own erotic energy.

Reading erotica
Yoga or Dance
Get to know your body and what feels good
Dressing in a way that makes you feel sexy
Practicing Sensuality
Using Mindfulness so you feel present
Masturbation
Prioritize Pleasure

Sometimes when we are stuck in the routine of life, or the stress of life, it’s easy to ignore our own erotic energy or the erotic fire in our relationship. Luckily it only takes a spark to start that fire (and then a little bit of energy to lovingly tend it)!


Filed under: Dating, Intimacy, Marriage, Pleasure, Relationship, Romance, Sensuality, Sexuality — admin @ 9:03 pm

August 19, 2018

Vibrant Living

vibrant living

What makes you feel alive?

What replenishes you and fills you up?

Are you living a life that energizes and excites you?

With everything going on in the world and so many things competing for our time and energy it’s easy to feel depleted. It’s easy to just go through the motions. But so many of us are wanting more. So many of us are wanting to feel more vitality, more joy, more connection…

Nikki Weaver and I are excited to announce our next one day retreat for women -

Vibrant Living

Together we will explore self-care, passion, pleasure and joy.

You’ll leave feeling nourished and connected and with a plan for living your own vibrant life!

Nikki will be leading us in yoga before and after our lunch break.

I’ll be asking questions and leading exercises to explore passion, presence and getting clear about what you want in your life.

There will be mindfulness, guided meditation, and a sound bath.

There will be time to share, to listen, to reflect and to connect with other women.

For lunch we’ll walk to a local restaurant to socialize and sit with each other in community.

We are so excited about this offering!

Nikki and I have been exploring what it means to live with presence, pleasure and purpose in our own lives. We are committed to living vibrant lives. In the last year we have been gathering with women and exploring these themes together. And we are excited to explore them with YOU!

Here are Some Logistics -

October 6th 10am-5pm

The retreat is limited to 10 women

The location is NE Portland. We will send you the address after you register.

The cost is $150

(lunch at a local restaurant is included)

This retreat is SOLD OUT!

This is our last retreat of 2018. We are so grateful for the women who have been gathering with us. If you are ready for a day of nourishment and connection we hope you will join us!


July 19, 2018

How do you want to be wooed?

romance and love

What are the things that make you feel special in a relationship?

What feels romantic?

Or flirty?

Or fun?

Or loving?

Are there things your partner used to do to make you feel loved or desired? Are there things you wish your partner would do?

People often put time and energy into wooing and romancing a potential mate as a way to get into a relationship…but then once the relationship is secured they put less energy in.

That is often when we most need that kind of attention. That is when we are dealing with the mundanity of life. We may be overwhelmed with work, kids, bills, heath concerns…that is when romance can help lift us up, remind us that we are loved and desired.

How do you know that your partner is into you or thinking about you?

Do you like -

love letters

a flirty text

a thoughtful gift

a romantic date

to be greeted with a kiss

a special look or touch

a night away

making a meal together

dancing in the living room

going out to an event together

having your partner share a song that reminds them of you

being surprised with a sexy encounter

hearing about how much you mean to them

What makes you feel loved and special? And how do you let your partner know they are loved and special too?

Just because you’ve been together “forever” doesn’t mean there isn’t room for romance or flirtation. After you’ve been together for a while that kind of energy may not always come without a little thought or effort though. That’s OK. It doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t care about you (or you don’t care about them). Life is often complex and full. Create some time and space to communicate about what you both would love and then commit to wooing each other.


Filed under: Dating, Intimacy, Love, Relationship, Romance — admin @ 8:41 am

June 10, 2018

Wild At Heart: Fanning the flames of your inner fire

Wild at Heart

Nikki Weaver and I are excited to offer a full day women’s retreat this summer!

After our last two gatherings the feedback we received is that people want more – more movement, more time, more exercises, more connection.

In response, we’ve created:

Wild at Heart: Fanning the flames of your inner fire!

Together we will explore passion, love, connection and tending our own inner fires.

Nikki will be leading us in yoga before and after our lunch break. She’s promised to make us sweat and also lead us in a heart-centered practice.

I’ll be asking questions and leading exercises to explore passion, getting clear about what you want and feeling more alive and turned on in your life!

There will also be a foot soak, a fire ceremony and a sensual walk.

And we’ll be taking a lunch break together during the middle of the day to socialize and sit with each other in community.

We are so excited about this offering!

Here are Some Logistics -

July 28th 10am-5pm

The retreat is limited to 12 women

We’ll have snacks and drinks and will be having lunch together.

The location is NE Portland. We will send you the address after you register.

The cost is $150

Buy Now

We’re so excited to channel the heat of summer to experience more passion, self-love and deeper connection. Join us for a fun, fulfilling and fiery Saturday!

Use the “buy now” button to register or send me an email if you have any questions about the retreat.



June 7, 2018

Giving and Receiving Real Support

Support

One of the things I’ve noticed when someone who is well known dies by suicide, is that people are quick to try to figure out why.

They want a reason…maybe because a reason gives us the illusion of control…or maybe because as humans we are meaning-making creatures.

I also see a flurry of posts about mental health, getting support and reaching out if you are struggling. And yes, if you are struggling and are able to reach out, do! Get support. Make requests. Let the people who love you know how they can help.

Here’s what I think is missing in this discussion – most people who are really struggling aren’t able to reach out. Demanding that people should have reached out or asked for support can be judgmental and blaming.

This winter I had the flu. It was awful! I was in bed for days, feverish, coughing so hard it hurt and every cell in my body ached. I was miserable. I totally needed support. And you know what? I was suffering so much, that I didn’t have the capacity to reach out and ask for help. Many of my closest friends and family didn’t even know I had the flu until I was “better.” I was focused on getting well (actually because I was dehydrated at one point and kind of hallucinating, I was really just focused on staying alive, that’s how rough this flu was). I had a couple friends who checked in on me during that time. One sent a message and I replied telling her I was really sick and she sweetly told me that if I needed anything to let her know. It was so nice and thoughtful, and also…I didn’t even know what I needed. I was too sick to be able to think or identify needs or make a plan or make a request. One of my friends who knew I was sick checked in and offered to bring food or offered to pick my daughter up from school. And that was the kind of help I was able to receive. All I had to do was say yes or no. That experience really helped me understand how hard it is for someone to reach out when they are struggling.

When some is struggling their entire capacity is being taken up by the struggle. There isn’t anything left. And even though a text message or phone call might not feel like it’s a lot,  it is too much to demand from someone who is depressed or anxious or grieving or really sick.

So in addition to asking people to reach out when they are struggling, I think we could also do a better job of reaching out to the people we love and seeing how they are. Check in with the people you love. Ask how they are doing. Get together. Be honest with each other. Share what’s on your mind and in your heart.

And if you have a friend who is grieving, or struggling with illness or mental health challenges or just having a hard time, offer tangible ways you want to show up for them. Don’t wait for them to reach out. Be proactive. Take action.

If you want more ideas about how to support a friend who is struggling this post will help.

Filed under: Communication, Friendship, Grief, Support, Vulnerability, health — admin @ 5:57 pm

January 19, 2018

Be Your Own Beloved: a gathering for women

be your own beloved

Nikki Weaver and I are thrilled to offer – Be Your Own Beloved!

Together we’ll explore what it means to love, honor and cherish ourselves!

One of the things we hear over and over from women is that it is so hard to prioritize yourself. Maybe you don’t have time or energy. Maybe you feel guilty or selfish. Maybe you are just too tired or depleted. Perhaps you don’t even know what it means to prioritize yourself. We get it. We know it can feel hard or even foreign to really focus on yourself (and asking you to do more than prioritize yourself, but treat yourself like you are beloved, may even feel scary!)

We also know the power of self-care, self-acceptance and self-love! We know that amazing things happen in your life when you love yourself and honor yourself. And we know the power of gathering a group of women! We know how validating and life-giving it is to sit with other women and laugh or cry or listen or share and hear, “me too!” or “You are not alone!”

Powerful things happen when we gather. Beautiful things happen when we gather. We are so excited to gather with YOU!

Together we will explore –

Self-care, self-love, self-acceptance – what do they all mean and how do you do them?

Being in your body and feeling pleasure in your body

What it means to be your own BELOVED

Light movement and exercises that will help you delight in your own body

Exercises and practices to help you honor your own wants and needs and treat yourself like the precious woman you are!

A Few Logistics –

April 21st from 11am-3pm

This event is limited to 12 women

We will have snacks and drinks

The location is NE Portland. We will send you the address after your register.

The cost is $100

Registration is closed. Subscribe to my free newsletter to receive updates about our future offerings.

What would it be like to also attend to your own wants and needs? What would it be like to prioritize yourself and your pleasure? What would it be like to be your own beloved?


November 17, 2017

Pleasure and Presence: A Gathering for Women

women's support

How do you nurture yourself during the holidays?

What happens to your self-care and self-love practice as the days get shorter and the to do lists get longer?

I know the holidays can be hard for many of us – Because of grief, or heartbreak, or overwhelm, or stress.

I know it’s easy to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list when it feels like there are so many other things that have to get done.

What would it be like to sit in a circle with other women – to feel seen, to feel understood, to share, to listen, to laugh, to connect, to slow down, to open to pleasure?

I’m so excited to be partnering with my friend, Nikki Weaver, to offer you just that!

On Sunday, December 10th we’re hosting – Pleasure and Presence: A Gathering for Women.

Together we will slow down and explore tangible ways you can be more present and explore more pleasure in your life (even during this busy season).

There will be -

Time for sharing and listening

Light movement

Exercises to help  you slow down and be in your body

And activities that will help you prioritize yourself and your pleasure even after you leave (and you will leave with a pleasure plan to help you relish the rest of this year!)

We’ll provide snacks and drinks

(and Nikki will be sending you home with a yummy scent to help you stay present and open to pleasure too)

As busy mom’s and business owners, we know how hard it can be to carve out time for yourself. We know what it’s like to feel stretched and tired and depleted. We also know the power of gathering in a group. We know how affirming it is do this work in the company of other women and hear, “me too!” or “You are not alone!” Powerful things happen when we gather. Beautiful things happen. And laughter happens too! We are looking forward to a nourishing and delight event!

Here are a few logistics -

December 10th from 4pm-6:30pm

This event is limited to 12 women

The location is NE Portland. We will send you the address after your register.

The cost is $65 and you can register by choosing the “add to cart” button below.

Add to Cart

So much about this time of year focuses on taking care of others and giving to others. This workshop is an opportunity to give to yourself. This is a chance for you to slow down, let yourself receive and honor what you want and need. We are so excited to gather with you!


June 12, 2017

Does your partner know what you want?

relationship romance

Have you told your partner how you like to be seduced?

Have you shared what makes your body sing and your lips part and your back arch?

Do you ask for what you want (in and out of the bedroom)?

I hope so.

And if not, what gets in the way?

Many of the people I talk with share that they shouldn’t have to tell their partner what they want. They say it takes the romance or excitement out of it to have to say it out loud. Or they say it makes it less special if they have to ask for it.

In some ways, I think that we’ve been condition to think that. We see it in movies or read about it in books. We dream of someone who will know our body better than we even know it.

So if our partner doesn’t know how we like to be kissed or what kind of foreplay we like or how to help us have an orgasm…we get annoyed. Or we get critical. Or we shut down. We blame them for not being skilled enough or intuitive enough.

And really it’s not fair.

If I asked you to make my favorite cake but refused to tell you what kind of a cake it was or how to make it, would that be fair?

Your partner can’t read your mind.

If there is something you would like, ask for it. There is no shame in asking.

And if you don’t know what you like or what you want, take some time and let yourself be curious. Explore on your own or with your partner.

(I  also know that some people have asked for what they want and aren’t getting it. Perhaps your partner needs some sex education. Or maybe your partner needs to work on listening or remembering what you like. It’s frustrating when you have been clear about what you want and you aren’t getting it. Check in with yourself about this. Does your partner not know what you want because they aren’t paying attention? Or is it because you haven’t asked for it?)


May 2, 2017

What replenishes you?

replenish recharge love

Self-care is such an important part of your health – it’s also easy to gloss over what it really means and how it really feels.

How do you practice self care?

Maybe you get a message or you do yoga. Perhaps eating well is a way you care for yourself. Getting enough sleep can be a form of self care.

So often when we talk about self-care, we focus on rest. Which is lovely. Yes, we need rest! When when you are depleted, it’s easy to mistake zoning out for rest. When you are overworked or stretched to your limit, it’s easy to collapse on the couch rather than do something that actually recharges you.

When we work until we collapse or give until we are depleted, we often don’t have the energy to focus on what will feel good and what will help us recharge. By that time we are so “empty” we just want to shut down.

I know that even though “vegging out” is seductive, I don’t always feel better afterward It doesn’t usually fill me back up.

What replenishes you?

Replenishment – or filling yourself back up – is a major key to self-care.

What fills your bucket?

What energizes you?

What gives you pleasure?

When you think about an activity, imagine how you will feel afterward.

For instance, sometimes when I think about going for a walk, I feel too tired…but when I focus on how I feel after my walk, I always feel better. I feel energized. I’ve connected to my senses, I’ve moved my body, I’ve cleared my brain, I feel replenished.

Here are other activities that may help you recharge or replenish –

Time with friends

Time in nature

Moving your body – this doesn’t have to be high impact, walking or dance counts

Sex (though when you are really depleted this can feel like “a chore” rather than something that fills you back up)

Creating something – art, food, knitting, working in your garden

Or witnessing art – go to a museum, see a play, experience music, be inspired or moved

Spend some quiet time by yourself – (without vegging out)  writing in your journal, meditating, sitting with yourself

And sometimes taking action – completing a task or finishing a project can feel very replenishing

Take a little self inventory – are you putting out more energy than you are getting back? Are you over extended? Are you depleted? Rest, recharging and replenishment are an essential part of your self care – they aren’t a reward, they are the foundation of your health. What fills you up? And what will you do to make it a priority for yourself?

Filed under: Pleasure, Self-care, Self-love — admin @ 10:30 pm

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