Category Archives for "Advice"

Being vulnerable: Moving towards fear

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I have a confession to make.

I’m scared. I’m scared of the death of the love that I have for my partner. I’m scared of putting myself out into the world and sharing my gifts. I’m scared of failure. I’m scared of a great many things.

Sometimes the fear feels like a cold fist curling in my stomach. Other times it reaches up and snatches my breath out of my chest. Or, it’s a slow tightening in my jaw that makes my ears hurt. My first instinct when I’m sitting in fear is to run away from the discomfort.

But I’m not a slave to my instincts, and what I’ve learned over and over again is that you are at your most courageous when you surrender to the fear and let it guide you towards your truth.

Fear, when we aren’t in truly imminent danger, is our body’s way of saying, “Oh crap. If I face that, things could change. If I go there, I might lose something. Or gain something. But there will be CHANGE. And I’ll be vulnerable. Which means I could get hurt, and I don’t want to get hurt. Nope. That icky, scary, open feeling is too much. I’m shutting down and avoiding the thing.”

And boom. Fear is suddenly manipulating your reality and everything becomes skewed. This is not your authentic self. This is not the story you want to live.

Brene Brown talks about wholehearted living. Basically, wholehearted living is an ongoing act of courage – the courage to be seen and heard and to believe yourself worthy of love and happiness.

For me, fear often comes up when I feel like I’m not worthy – of love, of success, and of being heard. Learning where my fear comes from makes it easier for me to face it and take it on, to move into it and through it.

Moving towards fear is never comfortable. It is never easy. But, the more you do it, the more you realize that you’ll come out the other side. Often the thing you fear most is far worse than the reality of what happens when you dig in, look fear in the eye, and charge at it.

What are you scared of right now?

You know what it is, even if you don’t want to admit it. Because naming it means acknowledging the thing you’ve been trying to hide from for days or weeks or months.

Are you scared you’ll never find meaningful love? Are you scared your partner isn’t a good fit? Are you scared your partner has fallen out of love with you? Are you scared that you aren’t enough?

Name your fear and shine a light on it so that you can examine it truthfully. When we let fear fester in the dark, it can trick us into believing things are much worse than they actually are. Fear can paint itself as a huge, insurmountable monster.

Fear is that gremlin in your head that keeps you paralyzed.

Because if we stay still enough, invisible enough, silent enough maybe that thing we fear won’t be true.

Maybe it will pass us by. We might even run away from it or try to control it out of desperation. But, this becomes a scene that we play out, over and over again. Fear always finds you, which is why you need to not only drag your fear out into the light, but you need to confront it and take your power back. Fear doesn’t get to dictate your life. You do. So what does that look like?

Let’s pretend your biggest fear is that your partner has fallen out of love with you. Imagine what that must feel like – that fear that someone you love might not want you any longer.

Fuck, that feels bad, doesn’t it? Those hopes and dreams you shared suddenly seem like they’re slipping out of your grasp. Maybe you start listing all the things that make you unlovable, as if this has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or maybe you start feeling angry at your partner. Your mind starts racing, searching for a reason, and maybe you start thinking they’re cheating on you. Depending on how you cope with fear, you’ll either withdraw inside of yourself in an attempt to insulate yourself from the scary truth or you’ll come out swinging, going on the offensive, trying to push away the pain by beating it to the punch.

What happens if you move into your fear instead of letting your fear dictate what comes next, all of which could be completely wrong because it’s based on lies your fear is telling you?

How do you even get started?

First, you have to acknowledge and sit with it for a minute. Yuck, right? I know. But the more you do this, the faster your truth will start to show up.

While you’re sitting in the yuck, you need to understand where your feelings are coming from and what you’re really afraid of. Being alone? Being rejected? Change? Getting hurt? The source of your fear might not be obvious at first, but if you listen to that thing you really don’t want to hear, that’s where it will be.

Then, get clear on why you feel this way. Has your partner seemed withdrawn? Has something changed? Or are things the same and this is about your own insecurity and unworthiness taking over?

Second, move towards your fear by directly addressing it. Sometimes this can happen entirely inside of yourself when you simply give yourself permission to feel your feelings, name them, and surrender so that they no longer hold you. Other times, it means having a conversation with someone in your life. In this example, it might mean saying some pretty vulnerable stuff to your partner.

“Can we talk? I’ve been feeling a lot of fear lately. I’m scared that you don’t want to be in a relationship with me any longer because I’ve felt alone lately for X, Y, Z reasons. What I need right now is either some reassurance from you or for us to dig in and take an honest look at us and whether this relationship is still serving us both. Is that something you would be willing to do for me?”

In that moment, your partner might immediately rush to reassure you that your fear has been completely misplaced. Or, you might end up having a conversation about how things really ARE falling apart at the seams.

But, now there’s no more guess work, there is no more wasted energy and inner conflict and sleepless nights. There are no more stomach aches based on “what if” or outbursts designed to hold your partner hostage. Because you are worthy of love and deserving of people who want to be with you. And by facing your fear and feeling icky for a while, you can start to heal and create something new.

Fear has always been a big, bright arrow screaming, “I know it seems like this is the wrong way to go because it feels so bad but that’s exactly why you should be coming over here!”

If you want a life full of love, desire, authenticity, honesty, trust, and joy, it means doing some scary-as-fuck work sometimes. It means taking leaps into the unknown at the moment when you can’t think of anything scarier in the world. Sometimes you’ll soar. Sometimes you’ll crash and burn. Either way, once you face your fear, you can move forward.

And isn’t that so much better than being stuck on the edge of that cliff, rocking back and forth belly-aching over what to do and when to do it and how you’ll do it and will you fly or will you plummet? That kind of thinking will drive you crazy and move you farther and farther away from your authentic self.

So, here I am, demonstrating that very thing. I’m sharing a part of myself with you, terrified it won’t be enough, but I’m doing it anyway. You’ll either love what I have to say and it will resonate. Or you’ll think it’s bullshit and leave. Either way, I am taking the leap so that I can move forward.

You deserve to move forward, too. Where is your fear? What have you been too scared to name? I challenge you to shine a light on it today and start taking your power back.

[callout title=”Let’s chat” link=”” class=”hb-aligncenter”]Do you need help naming and facing your fear? Would you love to get unstuck, so that you can finally shed the burden you’ve been carrying? I can help.[/callout]

What to do when you aren’t having sex as often as you’d like

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Call me old school, but I still manage my life on a paper calendar. Yeah, I put stuff in my Google calendar from time-to-time, like recurring events or professional meet ups. But for some reason, I get particular pleasure out of writing things down and seeing them on my wall.

My life at a glance.

If you’re like me, you’re busy. Insanely busy. And . – things like birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, kids’ soccer games, vacations, work events, BBQs, prescription refills… The list goes on: so much to do, so little time.

If you need something to happen, then it needs to be scheduled, right?

Take another look at your calendar.

Where is the you-time? Date night? Play night? Sex? Are they scheduled among the three hundred other things you need to do this month?

No? Well, then how can you expect it to happen? When you aren’t having sex as often as you’d like, it’s probably because you aren’t prioritizing it or scheduling it.

Let’s talk about the myth of magical, spontaneous, perfect sex

Let’s not waste time. That myth? The one where you and your partner will magically find the “perfect” time to have amazing, mind-blowing sex amid the half folded laundry and unwashed dishes after working 9 hours and commuting for 2?

It’s total bullshit.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Not at all. Especially if you’re the kind of person that needs time to get out of your head and into body after a stressful day – springing sex on someone who is stressed is a surefire way to get shut down and shut out.

And yes, sometimes you and your partner will both be horny and ready and share a look across the table in the exact same moment, and 30 seconds later you’re bent over the sofa with partially ripped off clothes going for a fast, furious fuck. Those moments are hot, right? But are they happening as often as you’d like them to? Probably not.

Don’t fall into the mind trap that scheduling something takes the fun out of it, either. We schedule all sorts of fun activities. Game night with friends isn’t any less fun because you knew about it, planned for it, anticipated it, prepared for it, and showed up. Why would the same be true for date night or sex?

Because half the fun of a juicy, memorable erotic encounter is the anticipation. Use that to your advantage.

Here’s an example – you and your partner are both free next Thursday in the evening, so you block off 3-4 hours for some naked shenanigans. When you go to bed Wednesday night, you set your alarm for a few minutes earlier so that you can take some time to pamper yourself before work on Thursday – shave, trim, moisturize, set out a sexy outfit for later, meditate, work-out, whatever your routine is for feeling good.

Maybe, as you walk out the door, you leave a note for your partner to find when they wake up with a sexy little thought about what will unfold that evening.

Then, you spend the day sending naughty messages to each other talking about what you love and crave about each other, what you can’t wait to feel or do, what you want. Talk about hours and hours of foreplay, hours and hours of daydreaming and anticipating and getting yourself into a siren mindset!

By the time you make it home (or get to the hotel, or meet up in a secluding parking garage and get into the backseat of your car like teenagers), your sexy time is now full of charge and need and excitement.

Scheduling sex, granting yourselves permission to prioritize each other, gives you tons of time get those juices flowing and your fantasies stirring.

How yummy is that?

Self-care is sexy

Just like scheduling sex and date nights, you must schedule time for yourself. Do it without apology and without guilt. If you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t happen. It just won’t.

When you put yourself and your needs first, you are more capable of giving fully and with love to others. When you’re tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and totally checked out, you invite resentment, bitterness, frustration, and a whole host of other emotions that don’t help you or the people you love.

So, schedule that shit. Do it now.

What does your self-care look like?

Is it a bubble bath, a book, a glass of wine, and no distractions for two hours? Is it a massage at a lovely day spa where no one can reach you? Is it an all-day hike on your own? Maybe it’s a night out with friends or a mini yoga retreat. Is it an hour on the weekend to yourself to dance naked and masturbate to a glorious orgasm? It might even be finding a half hour a few times a week to drive down a country road with some great music and the wind in your hair.

Is your schedule too busy for you time? Then MAKE time. As a friend to watch the kids for a few hours twice per month. Have your spouse pick up dinner one night per week to save you the time of having to cook. Go into work an hour early and buy yourself an extra hour free in the afternoon before you head home.

If it’s important, you can find the time to prioritize the stuff that needs to happen.

But it MUST go on the calendar. Commit to that time, and do not cancel it or push it back – because that’s oh-so-tempting when things are busy.

You deserve that time to rest, reconnect, recharge, and find your bliss.

Re-introducing play time. For grown-ups.

If you know of Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and the guideposts for wholehearted living, then you know one of the single most important elements of living a whole, happy life is finding time to play.

What did you and your partner love doing when you first met? Was it a cheesy movie followed by milkshakes? Bowling badly? Going to comedy shows?

It’s important to make time for those kinds of activities to keep that spark and maintain that sense of joy at sharing something fun together.

For some people, play time is going to kinky clubs or swinger parties. For others, it’s hosting a themed party and getting dressed up in ridiculous costumes. Maybe it’s going to a sports game and getting loud and rowdy with 20,000 other fans.

Whether you’re 22 or 82, maintaining that sense of adventure and play is what keeps a relationship young. It’s important to keep that connection between you and partner strong and healthy.

And if it’s important, it needs to be on your schedule.

Ready to get started? Just click below and I’ll email you a free handy-dandy planner.

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