Archive for the 'Making Love Sustainable' Category

Bleeding Gratitude

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

bleeding-heart“Judgments that constrain your giving are the very demons that are keeping you from receiving.” -Martha Beck

 

Sometimes life demands that we bleed. It isn’t enough to feel our painful stories echoing around in our heads; and even the familiar spasm in our backs behind our hearts is not sufficient to release the historic injuries of our childhood, so deeply ingrained that they become us. Sometimes accidents with a knife in the kitchen or slicing one’s foot open on blunt object as I did this week, move pain out of the head and squarely into the body. Five stitches later in my foot and the red swelling of the tetanus reaction are the physical proof of the pain that could no longer be satisfied with words. I had to bleed and limp and be fully immersed in my pain. This is the rationale I have heard about people who cut themselves. Bleeding is a relief; everyone can feel the searing of flesh exposed.

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Grateful For the Broken Places

Friday, November 15th, 2013

IMG_6681resized“The chemist who can extract from his heart’s elements compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love.” - Kahlil Gibran

 

This last week has been punctuated by an emotional injury that feels like a pinched nerve between my neck and back. It is odd that this unique but persistent pain still catches me off guard after all these years and the many times that it has revisited me on the trips back to my dysfunctional family, or at other moments when I feared losing myself. Over the years, I have gotten to know this particular pain body intimately and am learning how to speak its language, which mostly only wants me to be quiet and listen. It opens up with my tears and softens with a slow chanting prayer. The story of childhood trauma that lodged there might be its trigger, but the wisdom of what that pain body has to teach reaches far beyond what happened years ago. The body is at once the container for unresolved emotions and the vehicle for transmuting them into wisdom.

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3 Ways Gratitude Makes You Sexy

Friday, November 8th, 2013

middleagedcoupleresized“He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire.” -Lao Tzu

 

Sex appeal is the most vibrant form of gratitude that we embody. It is a magical alchemy of feeling good enough in your body that you can say yes to all the visceral and sensory life experiences that are the stuff of memory and the container of relationships. Trusting yourself to say yes is to open up to the constant change that life demands with confidence and ease.   Growing healthy intimate relationships is impossible without a capacity for gratitude. So try on one of these 3 simple sexy tips to color your sex appeal with gratitude and watch how quickly they will snowball into a passionate love affair with your life in and out of the bedroom.

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In the Bullring of Feelings

Friday, November 1st, 2013

bullfightmorgue“It is not the same thing to talk of bulls as to be in the bullring.” -Spanish Proverb

 

The gap between the genuine visceral experience of feeling and the more common mental masturbating we do to distance ourselves from our feelings is everything when it comes to healing and growing up. We know our feelings most clearly in the mess of them. Their expression creates indelible memories, whether the breakdown belongs to us or someone else, which explains why I have so much empathy for any mother dealing with a screaming child in a grocery store. We know our raw emotions in the mess of the moments they flow through and out of us. Sobbing, laughing, even vomiting our emotional highs and lows are the true visceral markers that leave us cleansed and emptied of the power and intensity of feeling.

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Harvest Time

Friday, October 25th, 2013

beachwomanresized“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”  -William Penn

 

Early this morning when my 15–year-old daughter who shares the daily morning makeup and hair routine with me, turned towards me, straightening iron in hand, to do my hair; for a few minutes time stood still. I like to think of myself as close to my teens, but honestly, we don’t talk much during those morning makeup sessions, except to ask to switch sides of the sink. But today as I felt her fingers and the weight of the iron as she pulled it through my hair, there was only that moment. The rush of the morning routine stopped with her spontaneous attention. Her unsolicited touch lingered long enough for her to prompt me to do my makeup. It lingered longer still, as I hurried out of the house with a short wave to my husband and then reversed the car back down the driveway to run back inside and give him a real hug goodbye. These brief interludes where we feel seen or have the generosity to extend that seeing to someone else slow time down.

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Foreplay’s Harvest

Friday, October 11th, 2013

passionhands“We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.”  -Orison Swett Marden

 

It is not uncommon for me to get a random text from my kids’ teenaged friends inquiring about sexual issues. They are important questions that even with as few characters as these mini communications provide, are laced with anxiety and edged with a bit of desperation. They don’t know the terms for problems like premature ejaculation or inability to orgasm, and they think they are the only ones that have these problems. These text conversations sometimes fall off as abruptly as they begin, so I always try to leave each message with a reassuring tone- of how normal it is to have these questions and how brave it is to want to look for answers. One text that made me laugh out loud recently asked, “Does fingering even work???”

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Receiving in Love

Friday, October 4th, 2013

huggingcouple“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” -William Blake

Falling in love is easy; our biological imperative to mate kicks in naturally opening our hearts and flooding our nervous system with the euphoric experience of idealized connection. In these early moments of love’s embrace, we receive love viscerally. Every exchange is charged with the energy of passionate recognition and the deep cellular relief of being embraced just as we are. And yet, often this early abundant receiving of love doesn’t stick. As the hormonal magic wears off and we are required to mature into the endurance sport of love over time, we lose the ability to feel the love that has accumulated inside of us. We allow small differences to evolve into heartbreak.

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Two Basic Skills to Make You Sexier

Friday, September 27th, 2013

sweetcouplecloseupresized“Experiencing one’s self in a conscious manner–that is, gaining self-knowledge–is an integral part of learning.” -Karen Stone McCown

 

People who are emotionally intelligent are seriously sexy. Fluency with one’s emotional life defines our ability to master most other life experiences. Being constantly caught between fight or flight is not flattering, and sadly our sex appeal bears its weight. Although many of us are not well trained in emotional cognition, our own or someone else’s, there are two basic skill sets that are both easily accessible and developmental, which means you can get better at them. The first skill is developing the capacity and the curiosity to feel a wide range of emotions, the second is increasing our emotional language to identify and express what we feel.

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Propelled by Discomfort

Friday, September 20th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”  -M Scott Peck

 

We resist change.  We prefer our known discomfort to the fear of what we don’t know. We stay in jobs we don’t like, we stay in relationships that are toxic, we stay in mindsets that keep us trapped in familiar ways of perceiving the world even and often in spite of the regular messages our body is giving us about how uncomfortable we are. Often, without our own witness, we fabricate stories that spin our discomfort into choices that we wouldn’t actually be making if we had the courage and insight to squarely look at our fear of the unknown. I keep thinking about the classic tale of the frog that is placed in a pot of cool water and is slowly boiled to death. We all have some of that amphibian brain that chooses the slow boil over the leap into the unknown.

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Enlightened Self-Consciousness: A Warm Homecoming

Friday, September 13th, 2013

fatherandson5resized“Self consciousness is the indispensible means to enlightenment; at the same time it is the greatest obstacle in the way.”  -Aldous Huxley

 

I live among teenagers, which brings me into intimate contact with the often crippling kind of self consciousness that awakens in the human mind during adolescence. The experience of being seen in these years swings between a primal desire and a punishing shame. Constantly conscious of what others think of what they look like, what they are doing or saying, we parents watch in dismay as our child’s once natural ability to be fully one’s self in the present moment erodes into habitual judgment of self and others. Gone is the playful innocence of being one’s goofy and changing self; it is replaced by a lingering defensiveness that colors almost every interaction. Relationships large and small become matters of dissection and the opening to new and different people begins to shut down. It becomes increasingly challenging to separate the internal filter of how we think we are being seen with the simple reality of being.

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