Archive: health

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

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

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

July 27, 2016

Be in your body

Dancing

Are you connected to your body?

Do you pause and check in with your body throughout the day? Right now, can you put your attention on your feet, your arms, you belly, you genitals? What do you notice?

So many of us are busy. We are over scheduled and under rested. We are running from one thing to the next and rather than slowing down and feeling our body, we are constantly in our heads thinking about what is next (or worrying about what we didn’t get done).

We are living in our heads and not our bodies.

It’s great to spend time in your head. It will help you balance your checkbook, remember to turn the stove off and drive your car to work.

Being in your head doesn’t help you feel joy, open to a spectacular sexual experience or dance with abandon! In fact. if you are in your head when you have sex or dance you will often be second guessing what you are doing – ‘How do I look right now? Is my partner enjoying this? Am I taking too long?’

If you are in your head, you are thinking (or worrying) about your experience rather than truly living in.

Being in your body helps you FEEL your experience. It allows you to open to pleasure, joy, passion or excitement.

One of the easiest ways to be in your body is to tune into your senses -

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

You can check in with your senses throughout the day or really focus on them when you are in your head but want to be in your body (this is a great tool to use during sex!)

Being in your body is a key ingredient for unbridled joy and great sex. It’s something that I’ve talked about at length in my Sensuous Woman Facebook group. If you would like to be part of a community with other women who are tuning in to pleasure, joy, self-care and sensuality, please join my private Facebook group.

Filed under: Body-Image, Desire, Joy, Pleasure, Self-care, Self-love, Sensuality, health — admin @ 9:23 am

August 27, 2014

Touch Yourself – For Your HEALTH

I’ve written about masturbation being healthy. I’ve shared that pleasure not only feels good, it is good for your body.

Here is another reason you should touch yourselfEarly detection of any lumps, bumps or changes in your body.

If you are in a relationship your partner may have the landscape of your body memorized. He may be able to notice if the mole on your thigh has grown or your breasts feel different or there is a bump on your labia.

What keeps you from recognizing the same things?

If you are adverse to touching yourself you might not detect changes that need to be addressed. If you avoid running your hands over your body you might be missing something that needs medical attention. If you are disconnected from your body you aren’t prioritizing your heath.

Looking in the mirror is one thing. It’s important to be able to see changes. It’s also important to feel your body in order to recognize changes. Some things might not be detected by your eyes.

Here are some helpful links –

How to do a Breast Exam

Vaginal Self Exam

Testicular Self Exam

In addition to self exams, make your health a priority by regular visits to your doctor or health care provider.

Pleasure is a wonderful thing and it’s a lot easier to feel it and enjoy it when you are healthy!

Filed under: Sexuality, health — admin @ 11:54 am

August 7, 2014

Coming Home to Your Body

I am so excited about the One Day Retreat I’m co-hosting with Nikki Weaver this fall!

Coming home to your body

Nikki and I are both moms. After we had our daughters we were talking about how strange we felt in our bodies – pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, healing, focusing so much attention on a tiny person – they all pulled energy from our bodies and focused it elsewhere. We started talking about tangible things we could do to reconnect to our bodies.

  • Yoga
  • Writing
  • Baths
  • Pleasure
  • Walking
  • Ritual
  • Creating Collages

And then we started talking about the work we do (yoga, therapy, personal-growth) and how many other women may be feeling disconnected from their bodies.

Pregnancy and birth aren’t the only things that shift how we feel in our bodies. There are so many other factors that can cause us to detach, disconnect or feel numb.

This workshop isn’t just for moms. This workshop is for anyone who wants to love her body more.

This retreat is for women who –

want a special space to slow down and connect to their centers

have experienced a change in their bodies – weight change, injury, illness, injury, pregnancy, birth, aging, etc.

want to feel more joy, sensuality or sexual energy

want to love and accept their bodies

spend most of their time in their head and feel disconnected from their bodies

focus most of their attention on other people and are ready for a day that is all about THEM!

This retreat is for women who want to feel more comfortable in and more connected to their bodies.

Read more about the retreat and register HERE.


June 17, 2014

50% Off All PDFs – Save the date!

I am so excited about my first 50% off sale! For one day only all my e-courses will be 50% off!

Save the Date – On June 30th you can purchase any of my Self-Study PDF’s for 50% off!


We are nearing the halfway mark of 2014. In the beginning of the year it’s easy to have momentum and excitement about change and focusing on yourself. I want to make it easy for your to honor your commitment to yourself – now is a great time to release shame, discover your sexual desire, connect with your body or focus on self-love.

blossom risk

I love helping women create a deeper connection with themselves and with their partners. These classes are a wonderful way to explore intimacy and cultivate pleasure.  Visit my class page on Monday, June 30th and purchase any of my e-courses for 50% off!


February 27, 2014

An Invitation to Communicate

Julie Jeske Healthy U

I am so honored to have been invited to speak as part of Portland State University’s Healthy U Wellness Challenge. I was asked to talk about the importance of communication and sex. Yahoo!  I LOVE that sex and communication were a part of a health challenge!

They recorded my talk and it is available if you would like to learn more about the importance of sexual communication and some tips on how to talk about sex.

You can view “An Invitation to Communicate” Here.

For more help talking about sex, check out “Talking About Sex is Sexual Intimacy.”

Filed under: Communication, Sexuality, Video, health — admin @ 9:11 am

August 8, 2013

5 Reasons Masturbation is Great!

Let’s talk about masturbation.

For real!

Masturbation, especially female masturbation is not something that is spoken about in polite circles.  Many women feel shame about masturbation. Some woman use masturbation as a stress reliever or as a way to experience pleasure when they are single.  If you are in a relationship, you may tell yourself you don’t “need” to masturbate.  Masturbation and partnered sex can serve different purposes.  Sex with your lover is often about connection, expressing love or sharing intimacy.  Masturbation can add something to your life (rather than replacing sex with your mate).

Here are some reasons masturbation is great! (Whether you are single or partnered)

  • It’s good for your health – get those endorphins flowing, (see stress release below) and keep those genital muscles toned!
  • It’s a great stress relief (and can help sleep) – Orgasm is a form of release…when you release something, you let go.  So if you are holding energy or stress or anger or sadness, “letting go” with some self-love could be just what you need to feel better.
  • It can help you learn what you love and what feels good – Touching yourself is one of the best ways to learn what your body likes.  You can play with tempo, pressure and different areas of your body without worrying about your partner’s agenda.  You can take your time.  You can truly focus on yourself (and even bring what you learn to your partnered sex).
  • It will help you get comfortable with your body and cultivate self-love – Do you have some shame about your body?  Getting up close and personal can help change your view of your body.  Touch yourself with love.
  • Pleasure begets MORE pleasure – Are you worried that if you take the time to masturbate, you might not have desire or energy left for your partner?  Pleasure begets more pleasure!  AND if you are taking the time to learn what you love and sharing that with your partner, you are going to enjoy sex even more!

Masturbation is good for you.  Self-love is good for you.  Pleasure is good for you.

Ready to make your masturbation more pleasurable?  Look for tomorrow’s post – Seduce Yourself!

Feeling shame about masturbation? – Check out my online class, “Releasing Shame – Embracing Pleasure!”

Filed under: Self-care, Self-love, Sexual Being, Sexuality, Women, health — admin @ 1:50 pm

January 30, 2013

Releasing and Embracing

The new year can be a great motivator for “starting over” or “starting fresh!”  I’ve written plenty of posts about intentions for the new year, resolutions for your relationship, ending one year and starting another.  You don’t have to wait until next January 1st to change some behaviors or change your life.

  • Are you holding on to things or behaviors that no longer serve you?
  • Are you carrying guilt, shame, disappointment, embarrassment?
  • Do you wish you could let go of something that is holding you back?

What do you want to release?

And what do you want to invite into your life?

I think it’s important to look at both pieces.  Have you ever known someone who gave up one vice and then picked up another?  I’ve seen people stop drinking and then start smoking or binging on food.  I’ve seen people let go of shame about sex and then start feeling shame about their lack of education.  If there is something you want to unload, what do you want to take up that empty space?  If you want to stop nagging your partner, can you also embrace giving your partner compliments?  If you want to let go of sexual shame, can you embrace physical pleasure?

In a recent women’s group we all wrote down things we want to release  – thoughts, areas of shame, fears, feelings, worries, stresses, behaviors, etc.

We placed these in a bowl and then I burned them.  I think a releasing ritual is a wonderful way to cement your intention.

releasing ritual

We didn’t stop with releasing.  We chose what we want to now embrace and also picked a talisman or small item to carry with us and help us remember.

What do you want to embrace?  What do you want to invite into your life?  And what will help you honor that intention or desire?

It’s great to let of of things that no longer serve you and you might find that you are even more successful if you also find something to fill you up.

Filed under: Change, Live Your Best Life, Ritual, Self-care, health — admin @ 3:00 pm

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