Archive: Support

October 24, 2019

What happens on a Vibrant Living Retreat?

I’ve been back from Italy for over a month and I’m still basking in the afterglow of that marvelous time. So many people have asked me what we do on retreat and I find myself having a hard time coming up with the right words.

We connect

We grow

We laugh

We move our bodies

We explore pleasure and joy and sensuality and presence and emotions and open-hearted living and desire and boundaries and naming our wants

We eat (we eat sooooo well)

 

We explore

I can tell you that before the retreat many of the participants told me that wanted to change in some way…and that as I was leaving the villa I felt transformed.

Powerful things happen when we gather in community and share and name things that are scary or exciting or vulnerable.

Here are some of the other things that happened on this Vibrant Living Italy 2019 Retreat.

 

We stayed at an incredible villa with a pool and a private chef.

Nikki lead us in yoga for an hour and a half every morning.

We named intentions for the week, created soul collages, pulled cards and also created a vibrant living playlist.

I lead classes.

People shared what was on their hearts.

We went wine tasting (at a vineyard owned by an incredible woman).

We took a few trips to nearby towns – visited churches and wandered down alleys and shopped and ate gelato.

We talked a lot about what we want – how to identify, the importance of naming it and how to move toward it.

I shared that this retreat was a big want of mine and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t said it out loud during a Portland retreat the year before. And later that day we headed to dinner at a restaurant in Lucca.

I had told some of the women about how much I love pistachio gelato and how excited I was to have it that afternoon. As we walked to the restaurant they asked if I had had my gelato and I oohed and ached about it. Ten minutes later we sat down at the table and the owner greeted us and looked at me and said, “You are going to love our special. Pistachio Pasta!” (of course I had it and I’m still dreaming about it!)

There were many moments like this that are not quantifiable. Sometimes magic happens on retreats.

There were so many beautiful moments and interactions that were influenced by the glorious combination of the 10 women who joined us.

I am changed. And I am forever grateful.

The experience was so powerful for both me and for Nikki that we’ve already decided to go back to Italy for Vibrant Living Italy 2020 next fall!

I’ll be sharing those details soon!


October 13, 2019

Tending a Broken Heart

The loss of a relationship, a job, friendship, a dream, a loved one, etc can be so painful!

It’s easy to want to shut down the pain or numb the experience. It’s easy to want to skip this part. It’s easy to want things to go back to the way they were before you felt this way.

We don’t always feel the growth or the expansion when we are in it. Sometimes the learning or the evolution is more obvious later…after we’ve moved through the pain. And in order to get there, we do have to move through the pain.

If you are finding yourself with a broken or tender heart, here are some things that may help.

Shutting down, disconnecting, or pretending you aren’t in pain doesn’t actually initiate healing…you may feel temporary relief, but the pain becomes encapsulated and continues to live in your body

Feel your feelings 
again and again

Do things that are good for you
move your body
take a bath
drink water

Get support
Be honest about your hurting
Let your people wrap you up in love and comfort

Check your stories
Don’t romanticize
Don’t villainize
Take accountability for your part

Get clear about what you want to bring with you and what you want to leave behind
Set some boundaries
You may have to change habits as you heal.
What do you need in terms of space?
What do you need in terms of time?

Be gentle with yourself.

Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love

Be patient

It’s hard. I know.

Remember that this part is temporary.
And necessary

This part will lead to the next part.
And the next part is going to be LOVELY!

PS – if you are going through a breakup, our Swoon Episode – Breaking up is hard to do:Breakup Recovery may help.

Filed under: Break-up,Grief,Love,Self-care,Self-love,Support,Vulnerability — admin @ 9:32 am

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.



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,health,Support,Vulnerability — admin @ 5:57 pm

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!


January 19, 2017

Awaken the Want

Turned On FINAL sans dates - lorez

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

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

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

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

Portland, OR

Registration is closed – subscribe here if you want to be informed of future events.


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

January 26, 2016

How Much Pain Will You Tolerate?

angle of grief

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

God wouldn’t give you more than you can handle.

Challenges build character.

If we can get through this, we can get through anything.

No pain, no gain.

There is a lot of glorification of pain in our culture. There are a lot of stories about pain making us stronger. And while it’s true that through adversity we can grow…it’s also true that there is a limit to how much we can (or need to) endure.

Years ago I was an actress and during a show I passed a kidney stone on stage. I was in excruciating pain, but I kept going. After the show one of my co-actors said to me, “I’m really impressed with you. What you did, only actors or athletes could do!” I remember wearing that statement like a badge of honor. I was proud of myself for pushing through. There is a lot that can be said for honoring your obligations and commitments. And at the same time, I totally ignored my pain in order to keep going. Earlier that day I had called my urologist (I had been in the hospital for kidney stones a few days prior) and complained about pain and he told me I was being sensitive and I should take another vicodin. So I listened to the expert and told myself that I was overreacting. I told myself I was being weak and I went out in the world (and on stage) and ignored my pain.

For anyone living with chronic pain, you know what it is like to desensitize yourself from your pain. You are so used to the pain that it starts to be incorporated in how you feel every day. What might be a 7 for someone else on the pain scale, becomes a 4 for you, because that is your normal. Your relationship to pain changes. Your tolerance for pain changes. And sometimes you suffer greatly.

This doesn’t only happen with physical pain, but also with emotional pain. If you’ve been ignored in a relationship or treated poorly, you may expect to be treated that way. If you are used to taking care of others without much reciprocity, you power through when you need support. You may deny your own wants and needs. You make it work.

If you’ve been sick for a week, your coworker may respond with, “You think that’s bad? I’ve been sick for 2 weeks!” As we compete for whose life is harder, we start to doubt our own experience.

You’re crazy.”

Don’t be so sensitive.”

You’re overreacting.”

Man up!”

Don’t be silly.”

It’s not a big deal.”

Don’t you trust me?”

It’s not that bad.”

If you’ve been tolerating quite a bit of pain then you might start to doubt your own intuition. If your own pain radar goes off but someone else tells you it’s not a big deal, you might start to believe them and ignore yourself. As someone else invalidates your experience, you may believe them. You wonder, ‘Am I overreacting? Is it really that bad?’ You see other people soldiering on and you feel like you should do the same.

Pain is inevitable. Things happen that are hard or sad or excruciating. There will be pain. There are also limits to what you need to endure.

Take a little inventory in your own life. How much pain are you tolerating?

(I didn’t ask how much you CAN tolerate, I know that you are strong and able to tolerate pain, but do you need to?)

How much pain are you willing to tolerate?

Is there anything that will alleviate some of your pain?

Support from friends or family

Seeing a doctor

Exploring your grief

Hiring a coach or therapist

Delegating or getting help with tasks

Getting more sleep

Radical Self Care

There is no shame in making your life easier. Getting support doesn’t make you weak. And tolerating excruciating pain doesn’t always make you strong.

Filed under: Receiving,Strength,Support,Trust — admin @ 5:00 pm

Older Posts »