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

March 27, 2017

Relationships Need Attention

Man Kissing Woman

One of the things I love most about intimate relationships is that they are a place we can be seen and loved for who we truly are. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to prove our worth. You can exhale and just be. It’s wonderful!

Sometimes that comfort can shift into taking a partner for granted. You know what I’m taking about, right?

You’ve had those days where you were cheery at work and provided a shoulder for your friend to cry on and you were extra patient with your child and at the end of the day you are exhausted and cranky and you snap at your partner.

Sometimes the people we love the most are the people who get the scraps at the end of the day.

Sometimes the places we feel most secure are the places we give the least attention.

There is a popular myth that relationships should be easy and self-sustaining. And while I believe that relationships can be easy and self-sustaining at times…most things in life require loving attention in order to flourish.

What about your relationship?

How do you show love and appreciation to your partner?

How do you want your partner to show you love and appreciation?

Sometimes we show love in one way but our partner wants something else. Maybe you use words to express your love, but your partner craves touch. Or perhaps you like spending time with your partner but your partner shows you love by doing things for you. Here is an activity you can do to help you both feel more loved and appreciated in your relationship.

Make a list of 10 things your partner can do to help you feel loved or appreciated.

  • Make sure the items on your list are tangible and executable (instead of “Love me”, write “Tell me you love me every day”).
  • Include a few “easy” things on your list.  (you don’t want 10 items that are similar to “plan our next vacation”, “clean the whole house”, “play a date night” – a few of these are OK, but the harder the items are the longer it will take your partner to do them and the longer it will take for you to feel loved).
  • List things positively (avoid asking for behaviors to stop, instead focus on the behaviors that will make you feel loved.  Rather than “stop spending so much money” try “create a budget with me.”)
  • Include some variety. If you feel loved by having sex then that should be on your list, but 10 items that include sex may be overwhelming for your partner. Are there other things that “count” for you?
  • If there are any hot button topics in your relationship (ie sex, money, etc) you may decide to keep these things off the list all together.
  • You can include things that already happen, things that used to happen or things that are new.

Include things that really resonate with you. What are the things that make you smile or feel warm? What are the things that make you want to tell your friends how great your partner is?

“Bring me flowers.” “Kiss me when I come home from work.” “Leave me a love note.” “Pick up my favorite treat at the store.” “Plan a date for us.” “Go on a walk with me.” “Initiate sex.” “Compliment me.”

Then share your lists with each other. Try not be defensive as you hear what your partner wants. Then post your lists somewhere that you can see them and start using them. When you want to express love, go to your partner’s list. When you feel loved and want to reciprocate, go to your partner’s list. The more love we feel, the more love we have to give.


And if you really want to infuse your relationship with loved and connection and intimacy, check out my e-course Shower Your Partner with Love.

It’s packed with videos, exercises and activities you can do with your partner. It’s also self-paced so you can do it on your own time, at your own speed and in the comfort of your own home. It’s a great way to prioritize your relationship and really show each other your care. Learn more about the course here.

Filed under: Change, Communication, Dating, Intimacy, Love, Marriage, Relationship, Romance — admin @ 9:11 pm

January 19, 2017

Awaken the Want

Turned On FINAL sans dates - lorez

Awaken the Want
and evening of exploration and storytelling
with Isabel Abbott and Julie Jeske

an evening of heeding the hunger and permission to want
and of finding the words to speak of all the things we are told to keep quiet.
of entering into the wide range of experiences in the geography of desire and arousal,
wanting and consent, giving and receiving.

There will be time to ask and enter into your questions,
reflect on your own embodied experiences and the languages of desire.
We will be listening to the space where the body and voice connect,
and what it feels like to locate our own self in our sexuality and experiences,
We will eat delicious food and sit in a safe space and begin to tell our stories.

And we would oh so love to have you there.
Thursday, May 4th
6-9pm

Portland, OR

$65

here is code, if you want it to show up as a button on your website:



January 13, 2017

What do you want this year?

2017 desires

I was recently taking an inventory of 2016.

The year was tough for so many of us.

It was easy for me to see the things that were painful.

I was sick a lot. My dogs’ were at the vet a lot…A LOT. I didn’t hit some of my goals (business or personal).

More than that, there was a ton of collective pain, loss, heartbreak, injustice and tragedy.

What a bummer.

So I tried a little harder.

Instead of just listing what happened or what I did, I also asked myself -

What did I learn?

When did I feel loved?

What moved me?

How did I grow?

What will I take with me?

What do I want to leave behind?

and then I thought about 2017. I looked at the year ahead of me and asked, What do I want to say about 2o17?

At the end of 2017 what do I want to write down?

How do I want to feel this year?

What do I want to do? Big things and small things.

What will make me feel like it was a good year?

What are my goals?

What adventures do I want to have?

How do I want to spend my time?

What will feel good?

And that will be my beacon this year.

I’m not making resolutions. I am setting goals and exploring desire. I am toying with a word of the year but I’m still trying it on.

This year I’m looking at a bigger picture of what I want my life to look and feel like. And then I’m committing to do what I can to create that picture.

If resolutions work for you great! If you don’t keep your resolutions past January 15th, that’s OK too. As you think about this coming year, ask yourself - What do I want this year? And what will I do to make it happen?

And then get support to make it happen. Read a book, join a group, find a buddy, take a class, put it on your calendar. If your wishes for 2017 include pleasure, love, intimacy, desire or sensuality – check out my classes. They may be the support you are looking for. AND they are all 41% off! Use code happy41 at checkout.

Filed under: Boundaries, Desire, Gratitude, Holidays, Ritual — admin @ 9:20 pm

December 3, 2016

Make it sensual

sensuality

One of the fastest and easiest way to prioritize pleasure and be present is to embrace sensuality.

Sensuality isn’t a synonym for sex (though sex can be sensual). Sensuality involves tuning into your senses.

What do you see, smell, taste, feel or hear?

Tuning into your senses pulls you out of your head and into your body.

An easy way to practice sensuality is to take something you already do and make it sensual.

Try focusing on your senses when you shower. A shower is a wonder place to engage your senses because so many of your senses are being stimulated.

Feel the water against your skin – notice the pressure and the temperature

Use a soap or shower gel that entices your sense of smell

What do you notice as your hands move over your body? What feels good?

You can also connect to your sensuality when you eat – notice colors, textures, flavors. I love to take walks as a way to be present and engage my senses.

I don’t expect every moment of your day to be pleasurable or sensual. Life is busy and sometimes challenging. However, if you can find something you are already doing and make it sensual you will feel more connected to you body, your pleasure and the present.


Filed under: Sensuality — admin @ 9:03 am

November 24, 2016

5 ways to heal your heart

broken heart

What do you do when your heart is hurting?

How do you grieve?

How do you cope with loss?

What do you do when your feelings are hurt?

What do you do when a relationship ends?

How do you go on when your dreams are crushed?

Do you try to cheer yourself up? Do you get trapped in a cycle of despair? Do you disconnect from your feelings completely? Do you feel stuck or lost?

There is no easy fix for heartbreak. We also have a lot of messages in our culture about “bucking up” or not being a crybaby or getting over things. We call certain emotions “positive” and others “negative.” Also, let’s be honest, it doesn’t feel good when your heart is hurting. It makes sense to try to avoid feeling way. But stuffing or ignoring your feelings doesn’t usually help heart ache (it often prolongs it).

Here are 5 things you can do when your heart aches.

Feel your feelings

The only way out is through. It’s hard to believe when you are in the midst of pain that one day you will feel better. Just like the sun rises after a long dark night, you will feel better eventually…but night comes before the dawn. Cry. Spend the day in your pjs. Get angry. Don’t ignore the pain. Move with it and through it. Cry some more. You don’t need to deny or ignore your experience.

Get support

Take to a friend. Find a therapist. Join a support group. When you are in pain, it’s easy to feel alone. While you are a unique person with unique experiences, pain and heartache are universal. Having someone else who can remind you that you are not alone or say “Me too” can be wildly comforting.

Ask for what you want/need

What will help you feel better? What do you really need right now? Once you identify it, ask for it. We all process grief or sadness or pain a bit differently. The people who are close to you may not know what will be most supportive for you. Check in with yourself and then share your requests with them.

Take action

If your heart is aching in response to injustice or pain in the world. You can take action in response. Volunteer, donate money, find a way to show up and support the people and causes you believe in. If you’re experiencing a personal heartache, you can still take action. Take a walk. Get rid of clothes or belongings that no longer reflect who you are or how you want to feel. Clean your house. It’s easy to feel helpless and stuck when you are hurting. Feeling your feelings is different than giving up or feeling stuck. (If you are prone to depression or anxiety taking action is very hard to do alone. Support and empathy will be essential helping you heal your heart.)

Give love

I know from experience that when I’m feeling sad or lonely, one of the things that helps is to share love with others. First though, I need to feel my feelings and identify what I need and get support so I feel like I have the capacity to give love to another. And then reaching out with a card, doing a random act of kindness, letting someone know I see them or admire them, or helping someone feel special can actually make ME feel better. This won’t work if you are not also willing to receive love and get support. If you try to give love when you are depleted, you can feel resentful.

Living and loving and being present means sometimes your heart will hurt. And when it does, I hope these actions will help you move through the pain and back toward open hearted living.

Filed under: Change, Emotions, Love, Self-care, Self-love, Support, Vulnerability — admin @ 10:27 pm

October 30, 2016

Are you overwhelmed?

Do you often feel behind, busy or overwhelmed?

Are you exhausted? Depleted? Or burnt out?

Do you race from one place to the next because you are over scheduled?

Do you talk about how little time there is in the day?

stressed woman who is overwhelmed

I’ve noticed that we’ve started using “busy” as a feeling.

“How are you?” “I’m busy!” “Me too! And I’m so tired!”

I do it too.  I’ve also realized that the more I talk about how busy I am, the busier I feel! (A couple months ago I noticed I was doing the same thing when I talked about being tired. I was so in the habit of being tired that sometimes I said I was tired before actually checking in with myself to see if that was true!)

The more I talk about (or think about) being overwhelmed, the more overwhelmed I feel! It becomes a negative feedback loop. And nothing changes!

If you are also overly busy or overwhelmed, I empathize with you. So many of us truly have a lot going on! You may be working, running a business, raising kids, prioritizing a relationship, taking care of someone who is sick, feeling overwhelmed by the election, experiencing grief or experiencing any number of things that are taking your time and energy. It’s a lot. And it’s easy to feel alone and unsupported. It’s hard to balance (or attempt to) all of the things in our lives. So please be gentle with yourself.

Here are some things you can do to help decrease overwhelm.

Schedule time for rest, joy or pleasure – If your schedule is full make sure there are things you like to do on your calendar is well. If you can carve out specific time to rest or have fun, that will help. I wrote about creating space for desire a couple months ago. If you want to experience more of something, make sure there is room for it in your life.

Pay attention to how you talk – Do you talk about how busy you are or how overwhelmed you are? If so, ask yourself if it’s true. Are you being loving toward yourself? Are you demanding? Would you talk the same way to or about a friend?

Stop comparing yourself - I hear from so many women in my practice who feel like other woman are doing more than they are. They are comparing themselves and pushing themselves to keep up with this imaginary ideal. I remember when I worked a corporate job years ago and people seemed to brag about how little sleep they got or how busy they were. It was almost a competition to see who was working harder or resting less. This isn’t a competition, it’s your life. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or not doing. Plus, you don’t really know what’s happening at home behind closed doors. Just because someone is slaying it on Instagram, doesn’t mean their life is without challenge, pain or unhappiness.

Clear out your clutter – If you are constantly moving the same pile of paperwork around your home, that is going to lead to overwhelm. The same is true for the clutter in your brain. Take some time. Unplug. Take a break from social media or tv. Ask yourself what you really have to do and what you can let go of.

Ask for help - Where can you delegate? Where can you get support? You don’t have to do it on your own.

Life is full. Many of us have way too much on our plate. It’s hard. Being busy and overwhelmed will take a toll. And the way to move away from overwhelm is to slow down and take some space. It’s not always easy (it may feel especially challenging because it’s new and new things are often uncomfortable at first). It takes practice. And small changes can add up quickly (you many not have the time or resources to schedule an entire day of rest or pleasure, try 30 minutes to start)!

In the interest of slowing down and feeling more joy. I’ll be hosting a one day Pleasure and Presence retreat in Portland. I missing sitting with a group of women and talking about how we are feeling, getting support and encouraging each other. It will take place in early December and be the perfect way to slow down and be truly present during this busy season. I’ll be sharing more details about my retreat soon. The first details will go out to my newsletter subscribers.

Filed under: Change, Joy, Pleasure, Self-care, Self-love, Workshop, health — admin @ 3:26 pm

September 20, 2016

What lights you up?

Photo by Beth Martin

Photo by Beth Martin

There is something that happens for me in Paris.

As soon as my shoes hit the cobblestone, I’m reminded of a version of myself that I adore. More than reminded, I’m transported.

It’s easy to access pleasure there with the flowers spilling out of tiny florist shops and beautiful people embracing or kissing on the corner. I smell rotisserie chicken and roasted potatoes. There are performers making music on the metro. The church bells ring out every half hour. There is history and romance and beauty. And even when things are hard; if I’m carrying a three year old and her stroller through a crowded metro station and I’m sweating and it smells like urine…I’m snapped back into my pleasure place when I climb the stairs and see the cobblestone, the ornate buildings, the roses and the blue sky.

For me Paris is a pleasure activator.

It is a place that easily and quickly activates my pleasure.

I don’t have to think about it or force it or wrestle with it. Pleasure comes easily to me in Paris. I know I’m not the only one. Many people love Paris. But I’ve also met people how don’t resonate with Paris. So Paris is not universal. But pleasure is.

What are your pleasure activators. What easily connects you to your pleasure?

The dictionary definition of pleasure is – a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.

So what consistently makes you feel happy satisfaction and enjoyment?

Your work?
Your home?
Your partner?
Sex?
Time out with friends?
A massage?
Dance?
Vacation?
A holiday?
Time in nature?
A place?
Making art?
Music?
Sports?

Here are some prompts to help you discover one (or more) of your activators.

Where do you feel most alive?
What time of year excites you? Why?
If you could be doing anything in this moment, what would it be?
When are you most lit up?
How do you like to be touched?
What are you passionate about?
Write a few sentences about a time in your life you felt really, really good! Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? What did you wear?
What are you top 5 ways to have fun?
What turns you on (sexually and also what turns you on in your life)?
What was your favorite vacation?
Write about your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Where would you be? Tune into your senses – what would you smell, taste, hear, touch or see?

Look at your list. What do you notice? Any repetition? Any good reminders?

Look for a possible activator. It might be a place or an event or a spiritual practice.

If you know your activator, explore some ways you can engage it. If it’s a destination you might not be able to go there right now, but could you look at photos from your last trip? Could you read your journal from that time? Or go to a restaurant that serves food from that region? If it’s an activity, when is the last time you did it? Maybe it’s a way you feel. If so, what makes you feel that way? How can you recreate it? If it’s a holiday or time of year, can you create some anticipation for that time to come again? Or can you explore what it is that most excites you (temperature, colors, warm sweaters, tank tops, scents) and can you find ways you bring those things into your life now?

Knowing your pleasure activator gives you a direct line to pleasure. And that is a very good thing!


If you need a little help giving yourself permission for joy and pleasure, I created a free 4-page e-book, Permission for Pleasure.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:36 pm

August 29, 2016

Self Acceptance is an act of love

self acceptance as an act of love

Photo by Stacy De La Rosa

Are there parts of yourself you have a hard time loving?

Does your inner critic insist that you need to be better, smarter, thinner, kinder or more attractive?

Do you tell yourself once you lose the weight or find your mate or get your dream job – that THEN you will be able to love yourself?

Self acceptance is an act of love.

Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It is not resignation or forfeiture.

You can want to change or shift or grow and still love and accept yourself.

You can strive for more and also accept yourself. You can love yourself and want more. You can love yourself and want to change.

In fact, you are more likely to grow and shift and change and expand when you are operating from a base of love.

Self acceptance doesn’t mean pretending to love yourself or pretending you are excited about something that you want to be different.

Acceptance is an acknowledgement.

Acceptance is unconditional love.

It is surrender.

It’s a full exhale.

It’s an honoring of who you are and what is true.

Self acceptance is an act of love.

I’m going live in my Sensuous Woman Facebook group to talk more about acceptance. Join us here.

Filed under: Body-Image, Love, Self-care, Self-love — admin @ 3:41 pm

August 17, 2016

Look between your legs with love

Ladies, when it the last time you looked between your legs?

self exam

For starters, when is the last time you gave yourself a self-exam? One of the ways you can love yourself and advocate for your health is by taking care of your genital health. Look at the tissue of your genitals, notice any lumps or bumps or changes. Get familiar with your body.

Here is a resource if you would like help with a vaginal exam.

Now that you know how to give yourself an “exam,” how about looking at your body with love?

I’ve spoken with so many women who don’t know what their own bodies look like.

I’ve spoken with so many women who feel “grossed out” or uncomfortable with their genitals.

I’ve spoken with so many women who have an aversion to their own bodies.

The more familiar you are with your body, the more likely you will be able to track any changes that need attention. AND the more you look at your body with love and gratitude, the more pleasure you will be able to feel.

Can you look at your body without criticism or trying to compare it to other bodies? (especially bodies that might be photoshopped or altered?)

Look at the curves and colors and beauty. Notice how things respond or change as you touch yourself. Try to interrupt your inner critic and send love to all your lady parts. Whisper, “I love you” “You are beautiful” or “Thank you” as you gaze at your body. It may feel silly at first, but it is an act of self love and kindness.

How you feel about your body affects your sex life and your capacity for pleasure. How you feel about your body affects more than that, it affects how you show up in the world.

Looking for more information about body love? Check out -

Vaginas are like snowflakes

Do you owe your body and apology?

What do you call it?

5 reasons masturbation is great!

You might also like to join my private Facebook group – Sensuous Woman. It’s a private space for women to talk about sensuality, sexuality, body love and being a woman.

Filed under: Self-care, Self-love, Sexual Being, Sexuality, health — admin @ 4:43 pm

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