Archive: Self-love

May 22, 2019

May is National Masturbation Month!

Some people may shake their heads and wonder why we need a masturbation month at all.

Can’t you just masturbate when you want to? Of course! Every month can be masturbation month.

I can also tell you that there is still a lot of stigma and shame and judgment around masturbation.

In my office, even with folks who are willing to talk about partnered sex, sometimes when I ask about masturbation that feels too private or embarrassing to talk about.

There are many negative messages people receive about masturbation growing up…or there are some partners who have negative feelings about the role of masturbation in relationship…or there are some people who simply don’t know how to experience solo pleasure because so many of us are socialized to associate our pleasure with another person.

Having a month that celebrates masturbation is one way to normalize it. It’s one way to give people permission to explore it and embrace it. It’s one way to prioritize your own wants and needs and pleasure!

Read this if you want to learn more about why masturbation is good for you.

Or if you already comfortable with masturbation but want to celebrate Masturbation Month – try exploring new ways to experience solo pleasure or learn some thing new about your body.

Looking for some resources about how to masturbate? Check out –

How to Masturbate if you have a vagina

Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz

or OMGYes

Let Masturbation May inspire you to take your solo pleasure to the next level.

Filed under: Masturbation,Self-care,Self-love,Sexual Being,Sexuality — admin @ 2:53 pm

January 20, 2019

Come to Italy with me!

Vibrant Living Italy

Join me and Nikki Weaver for a luscious and life-changing retreat in our own Tuscan Villa!

As you stand in the crystalline water you look to your right and see a friend reading a book on a lounge chair. To the left you see a trio of women doing yoga in the grass. You pause and notice the way the water feels against your skin. You move your hands, skimming the surface of the pool, drinking in the sensuality of the moment. A slight breeze makes the hair on the back of your neck dance around. You hear laughter in the distance and lift your face toward the sun feeling the heat warm your cheeks.

You pause and drink it all in before going back to your room to get ready for dinner. When you arrive at the table, you are greeted you with a hug and a glass of wine. You pass dishes of colorful and nourishing food as you talk about your day and the previous week. You talk about the adventures, the breakthroughs, the things you’ve learned, the gelato, the pleasure and the sacred moments. You look around the room and see each of these beautiful women lit up from the inside. You close your eyes and capture this moment. You want to bring this back home with you. You want to remember how alive you feel. You want to remember how beautiful you are. You want to remember this trip and all of the ways you have awakened and embraced pleasure.


Are you ready to feel good? Really, really good?

  • Are you ready for sensual living?

  • Are you ready to move your body in ways that feel enlivening?

  • Are you ready for delicious food?

  • Are you ready to honor what you want?

  • Are you ready to feel in love with life and lit up from the inside?

  • Are you ready for travel, adventure and transformative experiences?

  • Are you ready to gather in Italy with a group of wonderful women and embrace pleasure, presence and luscious living?

Why Pleasure?

Life is hard. It can be exhausting. As women we are often pulled in many directions and trying to do it all (and do it perfectly). Often your wants and needs and desire are not only put on the back burner, they are buried. There are too many other things competing for your time and attention.

Pleasure is “a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.” When you connect to that satisfaction and enjoyment, the rest of life is easier. When you engage with pleasure you bring richness, vibrancy and joy into your life. Pleasure fills your bucket and gives you energy. Pleasure feels good. It lights us up.

This retreat is for women who –

  • Are ready to focus on their own pleasure and enjoyment

  • Are looking to be inspired

  • Want to move their bodies in a way that feels good and be fully embodied

  • Want to connect with other delightful women in a meaningful way

  • Are committed to honoring themselves

  • Are ready to let their light shine, feel great and live a life they truly love!

What you will experience

  • Daily yoga lead by Nikki

  • Daily workshops with Julie – We will explore pleasure, sensuality, honoring our wants and needs, passion, turned on living, and more. Workshops will include: education, inspiration and space for sharing and dialogue with the group. Magic happens when you get a group of women together. It’s in the space of a group that we learn we are not alone. It’s in the space of a group that you can really be seen and understood.

  • Excursions to attractions in Tuscany (wine tasting, an afternoon in Lucca, cooking lessons, and more)

  • Free time to relax at our private villa (enjoy the pool, the many indoor and outdoor sitting areas, or explore the countryside)

  • Time with an intimate group of women where you can talk about your experience and what you want in your life (this retreat is limited to 14 women)

You can read more about the retreat (and all the delicious details) here!

Gathering on retreat isn’t about escaping your life. We gather in this beautiful location as a way to pause, center, fill up and then bring that luscious energy back to our lives. Our goal is that you will leave this retreat feeling nourished, engaged, inspired and Vibrant!

PS Nikki and I will be answering all of your questions on a Facebook Live January 26th – you can find all of the details on my Facebook Page.


August 19, 2018

Vibrant Living

vibrant living

What makes you feel alive?

What replenishes you and fills you up?

Are you living a life that energizes and excites you?

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

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

Vibrant Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are so excited about this offering!

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

Here are Some Logistics –

October 6th 10am-5pm

The retreat is limited to 10 women

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

The cost is $150

(lunch at a local restaurant is included)

This retreat is SOLD OUT!

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


June 10, 2018

Wild At Heart: Fanning the flames of your inner fire

Wild at Heart

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

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

In response, we’ve created:

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are so excited about this offering!

Here are Some Logistics –

July 28th 10am-5pm

The retreat is limited to 12 women

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

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

The cost is $150

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

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



January 19, 2018

Be Your Own Beloved: a gathering for women

be your own beloved

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

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

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

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

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

Together we will explore –

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

Being in your body and feeling pleasure in your body

What it means to be your own BELOVED

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

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

A Few Logistics –

April 21st from 11am-3pm

This event is limited to 12 women

We will have snacks and drinks

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

The cost is $100

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

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


November 17, 2017

Pleasure and Presence: A Gathering for Women

women's support

How do you nurture yourself during the holidays?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There will be –

Time for sharing and listening

Light movement

Exercises to help  you slow down and be in your body

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

We’ll provide snacks and drinks

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

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

Here are a few logistics –

December 10th from 4pm-6:30pm

This event is limited to 12 women

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

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

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


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

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

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: Joy,Pleasure,Self-love,Sensuality — admin @ 2:36 pm

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