Archive: Change

December 31, 2019

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Relationship

I love this time of year. For me it is full of time with my family, possibility, exploring dreams and desires, and hope.

It’s the time of year when you reflect on your life and what you want to change. Most of the time we create personal intentions or resolutions.

What about your relationship?

What do you want?

What would you like to leave behind in 2019 and what do you want to create or commit to in 2020?

Here are some intentions or goals to explore with your partner – 

  • Commit to a Date Night – Schedule some time together. You can get dolled up and go out on the town, go for a walk, or even spend some quality time at home together. The important thing is that you are making time for each other and making your relationship a priority.
  • Try something new – Trying a new activity or hobby can be exciting and it’s great if you two can share that excitement together. Check out a dance class, join an organization or even take a trip to your local adult toy store to pick up some new bedroom accessories.
  • Focus on the Positive – Sometimes relationships can get bogged down by negativity. We all like to feel appreciated and loved. When is the last time you told your partner how sexy he is? or how much you admire her? or how proud you are of them? Instead of focusing on what your partner isn’t doing, what would it be like to focus on what he is doing? It’s nice to receive compliments. It’s nice to feel appreciated. It’s nice to feel loved. What can you do this year (and for years to come) to make sure the positive interactions outweigh the negative in your relationship? You can make this tangible by creating a gratitude journal or a happiness jar together.
  • Learn some skills – Just like any other area of your life, relationships require energy and effort. Take a class on communication, commit to fighting fairly, work with a coach or therapist or read a book together. Put some energy into your relationship and watch it come back to you!
  • Make small rituals a priority –  You can increase intimacy and deepen your connection by focusing on small daily rituals. Start and/or end your day together, hug, kiss, talk about what’s on your mind or in your heart. I love this graphic from the Gottman Institute with more ideas about small ways to prioritize connection and intimacy.

This week’s Swoon also has strategies for reflecting on the past year and setting intentions for stronger partnerships in the coming year.

If you are feeling inspired and excited by the new year, take a little time to include your relationship on your resolution list. It’s doesn’t need to take a ton of time or more to shift things in a positive direction. You can focus on gratitude, more time together, turning up the heat in the bedroom or even choosing a word of the year for your relationship. Where you put your attention grows. Put your attention on your relationship in 2020 and feel your love expand!

Filed under: Change,Intimacy,Marriage,Relationship — admin @ 10:44 am

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.


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

March 30, 2016

Can People Change?

transformation

Absolutely!

Do they?

Sometimes.

I’m lucky because in my line of work I get to see people grow and change all the time. It’s incredible to witness.

I also see people struggle, feel stuck or give up.

Change is hard. If it wasn’t, we would see a lot more people embracing change. We wouldn’t need New Year’s Resolutions. People wouldn’t struggle with diets or breaking unhealthy habits. People would change easily and often.

So what is the difference between people who change and those who don’t?

Here are some of the things I see when people shift and change and grow.

They are ready – Often they have gotten to a place where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Change can feel scary because it is unknown. It also requires commitment to show up differently. We can’t keep doing what we are used to doing and expect to change. I see people change when they can no longer stay the same. Their health, happiness, relationship or livelihood maybe not be sustainable in their current situation, so it’s time to change. Or they are so excited and motivated by a new possibility that they simply cannot avoid this growth or change.

They get support – Because change is hard, it’s easier if you have support. Support can come from a person – like a trainer, a coach, a friend or a  spouse. Or your support may involved a book or class or a group. Having someone who keeps you accountable and also offers warmth and encouragement is huge!

They celebrate along the way – If you want to lose 100 pounds it might take a while. If you want to get your graduate degree, it will take a few years. And it might be easy to feel discouraged along the way. It’s important to celebrate small changes on the way to your larger change. You don’t have to wait until you lose the last 20 pounds or get that diploma in your hand before you feel elated or proud.

They know missteps and setbacks may happen and they are willing to recommit if they get off track. – I’ve mentioned change is hard, right? It’s easy to fall of track or want to give up. But a setback doesn’t mean you have to give up. People who are committed to change commit to getting back on course.

They are changing for themselves – I hear from a lot of people who wish their partner would change (I’m actually writing about that tomorrow). And while some people are motivated to change for others, I see change really working when it’s something the person really wants. If you are changing for someone else, you may become resentful. You may blame your partner for difficulties in your change process. When change is self-motivated it can be easier to stay on course and ask for support. Even if you get support, you are the one who really has to do the work to change.

Change is certainly possible. It can also be difficult.

If you are ready to change –

Break your goal down into smaller steps. Get support. Celebrate your growth at different stages of your journey. And be gentle with yourself along the way!

Filed under: Change — admin @ 8:38 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

August 1, 2014

What are you afraid of?

Image by Trey Ratcliff

Image by Trey Ratcliff

Fear has been coming up in my office a lot lately.

  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of getting hurt.
  • Fear of feeling exposed.
  • Fear of disappointment.
  • Fear of an unwanted response.
  • Fear of getting in trouble.
  • Fear of making the wrong choice.
  • Fear of looking foolish.

Fear of something bad happening or feeling some kind of pain.

Often when we feel fear we try to ignore it or talk ourselves out of it. We tell ourselves the fear is “irrational” or “unreasonable.” We shame ourselves for being weak or scared. We power through. We fight our fear.

Or we give the fear a ton of power and avoid doing the thing on the other side of the fear. The thought of the pain or consequences are too intense so we give up the dream or desire for the other thing. We tell ourselves that thing isn’t worth it or it’s not important.

I know fear isn’t pleasant.

I know fear can feel powerful.

I also know that just because I’m afraid doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do something.

I often feel fear before doing something that ends up being highly important. I was afraid to take a toddler to Paris. There were a bunch of things that could have gone wrote. There were many things I felt afraid of. And I also knew that if I didn’t do it I would regret it. I reminded myself that just because I’m afraid doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. I took a step back from my fear, I examined it, I got curious about it. And in the end I went anyway…and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I learned so much about my strength…things I never would have learned if I let my fear talk me out of it.

You don’t need to ignore your fear or talk yourself out of it. You also don’t need to be held prisoner by your fear. Here are some ways you can get curious about your fear and decide if you want to proceed with your desire.

  • Ask yourself what you are most afraid of – For example perhaps you are afraid of dating because you don’t want to fall in love and get hurt if the relationship doesn’t work out.
  • And what happens if that happens? – It will feel painful. I will be sad. I will feel rejected.
  • And then what? – I will get jaded. I will shut down. I will be alone.
  • And what happens if you don’t do the thing you are afraid of? – If I don’t date, I will still be alone. (And you will have missed out on the joy you felt when the relationship was working).

Can you see that by not doing the thing you are afraid of, you may end up in the same place you fear?????

If you are afraid of initiating sex with your partner because you will feel rejected and therefore avoid initiating sex…you still end up in a situation where you aren’t having sex and you feel alone and undesirable.

If you are afraid of traveling because some bad thing might happen…that bad thing can still happen at home.

If you are afraid of taking a risk because you will feel foolish, you may protect yourself from feeling foolish…but you also protect yourself from the reward that can come with that risk.

What are you afraid of?

And what’s the worst thing that can happen if you acknowledge your fear and then do it anyway?

Filed under: Change,Strength — admin @ 11:59 am

April 15, 2014

Are you looking for someone to complete you?

Magical other

The fact is, however, external changes are not going to solve your problem because they don’t address the root of your problem. The root problem is that you don’t feel whole and complete within yourself. If you don’t identify the root properly, you will seek someone or something to cover it up. You will hide behind finances, people, fame and adoration. If you try to find the perfect person to love and adore you, and you manage to succeed, then you have actually failed. You did not solve your problem. All you did was involve that person in your problem. That is why people have so much trouble with relationships. You began with a problem inside of yourself and you tried to solve it by getting involved with somebody else. That relationship will have problems because your problems are what caused the relationship.”  –  Michael A. Singer from the untethered soul

Filed under: Change,Relationship,Self-love,Trust — admin @ 9:48 am

March 10, 2014

Giving Up Negativity For Lent!

Inner Critic

Last week my facebook feed was filled with posts about what my friends were giving up for Lent.

  • No more chocolate
  • So long alcohol
  • Goodbye Facebook, see you in 40 days
  • No gluten
  • 40 days off of TV

Many people use this time to let go of something that isn’t serving them, a “bad habit” or a “guilty pleasure.”

I certainly think a break from any of the above things could serve someone. I have taken breaks from different foods or beverages or media or electrotics for different reasons and usually feel energized and refreshed. This year I’m thinking of some less tangible items we can give up.

  • I would love to see people take a break from negative self-talk.
  • I would love to see people give up shame.
  • I would love to see people let go of self-doubt.
  • I would love to see people release critisism.
  • I would love to see people eliminate hate.

And if giving something up doesn’t work for you. Can you add something positive to your life for 40 days? Turn up the volume on self-love. Start a gratitiude practice. Embrace 40 days of kind thoughts, loving actions and positive thinking.

Whether or not you are religious, can you welcome 40 days of less negativity? Give yourself a break from some of the things that don’t serve you!

Filed under: Change,Emotions,Gratitude,Self-love — admin @ 10:46 am

February 12, 2014

No More Sexy Tiger!

(Unless you want to be a sexy tiger, of course!)

Sexy Tiger Class

Do you know my very favorite things to talk about? The work that makes me most excited and lights me up? I LOVE helping women discover who they are sexually. I LOVE witnessing who they truly are (not who someone else told them they should be). I LOVE creating connections, leading excavation and hearing their truths. It’s exhilarating. And humbling. And beautiful. And moving. And wonderful!

After a year of in-person groups and online classes, I’m thrilled (is there a bigger word than thrilled? Because I am more than thrilled!) to share a new self-study course so you can discover your sexuality at your own pace and at home.

“You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger: Discover YOUR Sexual Self!” Self-Study Course

You get all of the good stuff from my “You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger: Discover YOUR Sexual Self!” e-course, packed into a 73-page PDF.

  • 10 Weeks of Questions, Activities and Exercises
  • 10 Weeks of Information and Lessons
  • 11 Videos
  • 10 Conference Calls

All delivered to your inbox and designed to help you get to the root of your sexuality, your desires, your SELF!

Course Topics –

  • What is a Sexual Being? What does it mean to be sexual?
  • Know Your Body – Anatomy and Body Image
  • Sensuality – Romance – Love
  • Discover What you like – Pleasure – Orgasm
  • Desire – Passion – Creativity
  • Shame
  • Vulnerability – Intimacy – Asking for what you want
  • What does sexy look like? – Power – Flirting – Seduction
  • How does sexuality fit in with the rest of your life? – Getting Sex on your Radar
  • Putting it all together – You know who you are, what if you don’t like it?

I am so excited about this class and the way it is awakening women’s sexual desire and expression.

If you are ready to have a better understanding of your sexuality, this class is for you!

Discover your sexual truth for $99!

Add to Cart

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin

Are you ready to blossom into your authentic sexual self?


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