Archive: Holidays

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

May 8, 2016

Hey, Mama! I see you.

Mama love

I was waiting in line to get a pastry and latte today and I overheard two men in front of me who were talking about Mother’s Day.

Man #1 – What are you doing for your wife today?

Man #2 – I don’t know why I have to do anything. She’s not my mom. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

That interaction in combination with reading some articles and posts about people who are struggling with Mother’s Day has me thinking today. It pains me to know that Mother’s Day is hard for so many people. There are so many people who feel grief about the loss of their mom, the absence of their mom, or lack of love from their mom.  There are so many women who ache to have a child or have lost a child or struggled with their role as mom. I know that seeing people sharing the joys of motherhood and their love of their moms can amplify that pain.

I know some people complain that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday.

I know some people say that Mother’s Day is every day and we shouldn’t need a holiday.

I know that some people say that Mothering is a gift in itself and we should be grateful for the experience and not need anything else.

And also, I know many women who need Mother’s Day. I know many women who don’t know how to ask for a break or breakfast in bed or time to get a pedicure and Mother’s Day is the day they give themselves permission. Mother’s Day is the day they feel seen and appreciated and valued.

So should you have to celebrate someone on Mother’s Day?

No.

You don’t have to do anything. And celebrating someone with a resentful heart probably doesn’t feel all that great for the person being “celebrated.”

For me, Mother’s Day is an opportunity. An opportunity for women to ask for what they need (as a mama or someone who has a mama or someone who is grieving). What do you want or need today?

For me, Mother’s Day is a reminder. A reminder to tell people that you see them and you love that and that you empathize and acknowledge them. Or a reminder that some people you love really struggle with their mom or their grief or their role as mom. A reminder to celebrate yourself and receive celebration.

For me, Mother’s Day is about being seen. So often mothering means doing the work that needs to be done. It happens without comment or witness. And today some mothers may feel seen and appreciated and validated. By their partners, by their children, by their friends and even by strangers. Today as I was out in the world with my daughter people wished me a happy Mother’s Day. It felt lovely.

So today I see you. I’m sorry if it’s hard. I’m sorry if you are grieving. I salute you if you are working hard. I celebrate with you if you are loving life. I see you not only as a Mother, but as a human. If you have the capacity, let today be a day where you reach out to other mothers and celebrate them or other humans who are struggling today and ask how you can offer support.

And if you are feeling unseen or uncelebrated or unloved – I hope that you will mother yourself a bit today too.

Filed under: Holidays,Love,Mother,Women — admin @ 3:28 pm

February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day is for Everyone.

Valentine Love

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I’m hearing a lot of grumbling about it. I know some people think it’s a “Hallmark Holiday.” I know some single people hate it because it reminds them they are “alone.” And I know some partners feel pressure or disappointment on that day.

I love Valentine’s Day.

I love it when I’m single and I love it when I’m partnered. I love it because it is a day that celebrates love. And I love LOVE!

Growing up my mom got us gifts on Valentine’s Day. My grandma also sent us goodies in the mail. I learned that February 14th is a day to celebrate the people you care about. As an adult I’ve had lovely celebrations with romantic partners and some really special solo Valentine’s Days as well.

You see, Valentine’s Day is about your intentions, not your relationship status.

You can be disappointed on Valentine’s Day in a relationship or on your own. You can have a crappy day if you are partnered and a lovely day if you are single. You get to choose.

This Valentine’s Day my daughter and I are throwing a party for some of our favorite people. We are going to gather and eat and drink and celebrate our love and friendship. I also bought her some small gifts and I’m buying something for myself too.

What are your intentions for February 14th? How will you celebrate love this year?

Filed under: Family,Friendship,Holidays,Love,Relationship,Self-love — admin @ 3:33 pm

December 22, 2015

Give Experiences, Make Memories

Photo by Jody Grenier

Photo by Jody Grenier

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Everywhere I go people are wishing me happy holidays and Merry Christmas. People seem extra warm and cheery. Kids are buzzing with the anticipation of opening presents. And if they are lucky, parents are taking pauses and breaths and soaking it all in rather than racing and and missing it.

Fast forward to a few days after the holiday. The gifts have been opening. The trash can is overflowing with wrapping paper. And you are surrounded by things you may not want or need.

I love giving gift and I love receiving them too. I’m also at a place where I no longer want things just to have them. Can you relate? Of course there are things that make my life easier or bring beauty or tickle me. There are things I value. These days, however, I’m more interested in experiences. It looks like I’m not alone in this. Right now there is so much information out there about getting rid of clutter and simplifying your life. There is also some very interesting research about our brains and happiness and experiences being more meaningful to us (and memorable) than material belongings.

If you are interested in giving experiences this holiday season, here are some places you can start.

Give a Membership or Subscription

A membership to a museum, dance company, rock climbing gym, state park, etc. Every time the recipient uses the membership they will think of you!

Give a Service

You can offer your services (i.e. make a coupon book with various tasks you are offering to do: childcare, help with cleaning or vehicle maintenance, etc). Or you can purchases services. Hire someone to help declutter (this won’t go over very well if the decluttering is more for you than it is for the recipient). Hire someone to help with shopping, cooking or a makeover (If the makeover isn’t on the receiver’s wish list, this could be received as an insult). Give a massage. Choose a service that will make life easier or lovelier.

Give Your Presence

Show up. Tune in. Be present.

Plan a Getaway

Whether it’s just an overnight, or a week vacation; plan a special experience. You will give the gift of anticipation as you approach the getaway, the actual getaway will be a gift and then you get the added gift of the memories you will look back on after the event.

Give an Event

A concert, a night at a special restaurant, a sporting event, etc. Find something that will really resonate with the person receiving your gift. Psst Pleasure in Paris counts as a getaway and an event! And a super special holiday gift!!!

Give Education

A language class, a dance class, a cooking class, etc. You can purchase something the receiver does on their own or you do together. I offer 6 different self-study classes. And they are currently 25% off! Use code – holiday25 – at check out.

If your wish list has a lot of “things” on it, that is OK. It’s also possible to think outside the traditional gift box and asking for some experiences or give the gift of memories.

Filed under: Holidays,Receiving,Relationship — admin @ 8:47 am

November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 14, 2015

Why I’m a Fan of Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

I’m sure it’s not a huge surprise that I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day. I believe in relationships. I cultivate romance and sensuality. I love LOVE.

I know there are a lot of people who think Valentine’s Day is silly. I know there are many people who say it’s just a commercial holiday. I’ve heard people say we shouldn’t need a holiday for love or relationships, but should rather celebrate our relationships every day. I get it. I get all of it. I even agree to some extent.

Here’s the thing. Most people don’t celebrate their partner or lover or relationship every day (even those people say we should have the spirit of Valentine’s Day every day). People are busy. People are overwhelmed. Even people who love and adore their partner, may not acknowledge their love every day.

I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day because it’s a reminder to focus on your relationship and your love. I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day because it offers accountability. Over and over in my office I’m told that people are thinking about sex or about romance because coming to see me offers accountability. In the same way that wearing a pedometer gives me accountability for my movement. Valentine’s Day reminds us to LOVE. Love your partner. Love yourself. Love your child. Love a friend. Even if you are single on Valentine’s Day, February 14th can offer a reminder to love.

Being a fan of Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that I think you need to be extravagant or make it the best holiday ever. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate or what kinds of gifts you offer your lover. My suggestion is that you share your love today. Speak your truth. Let people know you care. Honor your relationship. Be accountable. Celebrate. Engage. LOVE.

Below are some ways you can keep the love and connection going long past Valentine’s Day –

Looking to add some romance to your life? Check out this post.

Here is a post on small ways to say, “I love you.”

My Shower Your Partner with Love PDF is a great way to keep love, romance and connection on your radar. Learn more here.

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Intimacy,Love,Marriage,Relationship,Romance — admin @ 8:18 am

December 23, 2014

Give Your Partner Your Presence

IMG_2048

Are you looking for the perfect present for your partner this holiday?

Give your partner your presence.

Give your partner your attention. Show up fully. Listen. Engage. Be supportive.

How do you feel connected in your relationship?

How do you know your partner is present or listening? How do you let your partner know you are listening?

It’s easy to get stressed out searching for the perfect gift. It’s easy to feel distracted by endless tasks and to do lists. It’s easy to coast through the holidays on autopilot. What about slowing down and connecting with your partner? What about giving the gift of your presence?

Here are some ways you can give your partner (or any loved one) your presence –

  • Put down your phone, turn off the tv or look away from your computer when he is talking.
  • Create a ritual together.
  • Give an experience – a trip, date, adventure.
  • Touch your partner with intention – instead of an absent-minded massage or lackluster foreplay, touch your partner with love and active awareness.
  • When talking, listen to your partner and validate her experience. John Gottman, suggests telling your partner what you heard her say and then adding, “It makes sense you feel that way because ______________.”

Here are some other resources for this holiday season –

Be Gentle With Yourself This Holiday Season

Focus on your relationship this holiday season

Shower Your Partner with Love is a 3 week self-study e-course that will help you focus on your relationship and give your partner your presence.

Filed under: Communication,Holidays,Relationship — admin @ 11:28 am

November 4, 2014

Talking About Money

I love helping people talk about uncomfortable things. I love giving people language (and permission) to express their feelings and desire. I get to do this in my office all of the time. Tomorrow night I get to do it in a different environment!

Talking About Money

I’m speaking at the next Her Financial Way event.

And rather than sex and intimacy, I’m talking about money. I’m talking about how you can talk about money in your relationships (and it’s happening right before we gear up for the holidays and stress and possible financial burdens).

I love helping people use their voice and get their needs and wants met. I LOVE being able to speak to a group of women. I extra love it when I’m asked by people I adore! My friend Kristen Martha Brown is the BEST!

I’m super excited to share this information AND I think it’s going to be a lot of fun too! I hope to see you there.

Filed under: Holidays,Relationship,Speaking — admin @ 1:03 pm

June 14, 2014

Hooray for dads!

fathers day

As someone who has lost her dad to cancer, I know this day can be hard. I know it can be hard for those of us grieving and missing our fathers. I know it can be hard for dads who are missing their children and can’t be with them today. I know it can be hard for anyone who wishes their father was more of a loving presence in their lives. I know today can be painful for anyone who feels let down by their dad.

I also know there are many wonderful, loving, supportive, fantastic dads out there!

I celebrate Dads and Father Figures today.

And I also hold a little extra space in my heart for anyone struggling today.

Happy Father’s Day!

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Parenting — admin @ 3:54 pm

May 11, 2014

Love for all the Mamas!

Wising a very happy Mother’s Day to all moms and mothering people!

Your love, dedication and support of your children and people you nurture makes this world a better place!

moms day

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Love,Parenting — admin @ 8:54 am

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