Today is the first night of the Jewish New Year, and after 50 celebrations I have only just learned that this high holy day commemorates the union of Adam and Eve. I am celebrating with love and gratitude as I welcome in this new year in San Francisco. Sitting high among the lights of this beautiful metropolis with a view to the water and the bridges in every direction, I tried to open the party up to my new friends but ended up celebrating alone.
Archive for the 'Positivity Quest' Category
I landed in San Francisco late Saturday for the SOCAP pre conference Accelerator experience for Entrepreneurs. First day, we did speed dating, instagram video making, and visualization meditations at this cool permanent HUB of startups in downtown San Fran. I could have stayed free at a hostel, but am dreaming big now, so I went for a booking.com deal when I first learned I won the spot here. I got a great deal on the Westin a couple of blocks away. Magically, circumstances evolved that landed me in one of their beautiful preferred suites on the 18th floor. The view is amazing in every direction.
I am a big believer following my why. Many days I don’t know how I am going to solve the problem in front of me, how I am going to come up with the money to take the next step, how I am going to make it work. It is easy to get stuck on the how. I have to work to stay away from wanting the answers to the hows and focus on the why. Meditation helps pull me back into myself so I can hear the small reassuring voice that lives in most of us unheeded. Exercise grounds me into the moment, slowing down my thinking so life can intervene as it will if we are patient. But then some days we get a gift that says it all.
There is nothing more effective at keeping your body well over time than exercise. Recent studies have demonstrated that exercise doesn’t only lift your mood and keep you strong but it also actually transforms you on the most primal cellular level. Apparently our DNA is not static and the language of movement and exertion is what speaks to them most persuasively.
I was searching for slide materials for my upcoming talk on Sexual Dysfunction for a group of physicians next month when I came across the first image I have ever seen of the interior of the clitoral organ system. I was in my late 40s the first time the clitoris was imaged and it wasn’t until the mid 1990s that the clitoris was medically understood as an organ system and not just a single glans on the top of the vagina. I have been thinking about the clitoris a lot lately because I am still trying to figure out how Good Clean Love can be instrumental in stopping the archaic practice of clitoral circumcision, a practice performed on over 100 million women on the planet. Actually, it is performed on girls, little girls, who don’t even know what it means to be sexual. Often it is the girl’s mother who brings her to a midwife to cut off her ability to feel sexually, because it is a widely held belief that a woman who experiences pleasure is both unclean and unmarriageable.
I have been growing a sexual health company for ten years. I started it in my home and then when it grew past the capacity of sharing with my kids, moved it into another residential space in town. It kept its home business feel, where we have dogs and kids and a lawn to mow. But recent developments in our quickly expanding distribution have made it clear that the home business phase is over.
So I set out to find a public space, with a small store front, a place to invite in sexual health experts, and to expand our mission of increasing the quantity and quality of loving relationships into our community. There are only a handful of retailers in this country and none in our state that elevate the business of sexuality to the health concern that it is. I know them all because they are our customers. These stores serve as essential resources for physicians, and counselors, as well, as for the public.
It seems like forever since I have written my positivity quest. The silence is weighing on me. It became really clear to me tonight when I received a comment about a post I had written after the death of a dear friend. The comment came from one of my friend’s art students who said that his life would not have been the same without her. However, it is that we make our mark in the world matters more than we can imagine as we move through the days of our lives.
A couple of weeks ago when I was in a training at the Ceres Project they told us that they spend 25% of their time appreciating both what they have accomplished and the incredible amount of volunteer time, donations and good will that allowed it to happen. I was seriously struck by the 25% number and started to feel a little guilty about not being more appreciative for the thousands of hours of student volunteer time, the incredible generosity of community businesses, as well as the beauty and creativity that these companies have brought into the courtyard. So I decided to plan an Appreciation Celebration. Often, we wait too long to tell people how grateful we are. The idea that we need things to be finished or look perfect keeps us from focusing on how much has already been completed. Just making the list of all the people who gave their time and energy filled me with a deep appreciation of just how generous life can be. I can often be overwhelmed by this project and feel like I am carrying this heavy weight by myself, but as I started to list all the things that everyone gave and did, I realized that while my focused attention has been essential to moving forward, we really can do nothing on our own.
Life can easily become overwhelming. I have a knack for attracting more into a couple of hours than most people would consider in a couple of days. Today I got the physical evidence of how too much of a good thing is actually too much, but can also remain a good thing. As those of you who follow my positivity quest know, I have been leading a Positive Change high school club and creating a positivity memorial courtyard for the last two years. It has been a project that has taught me more about the real work of positivity than all that I thought I knew from reading and writing.
“Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests, and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes parts of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive, and expansive. It’s different from unwilling suffering the way the sting of disinfectant is different from the sting of decay; the pain leaves you healthier than it found you.” -Martha Beck
I am working to stay with the lessons from last week when life stood still thanks to my head that would not turn. Dealing with pain is an honorable way to spend time. It does indeed work on us like the waves of the ocean on a shore line- washing away the unnecessary and surprising us with unexpected wonders from its depths. The freedom I have in my neck this week is matched by a lightening of the weight in my relationship with my father. Letting go is as easy as opening up to it, but it also requires that we are willing to pay attention to and feel what we are releasing.