The Question to Start Your Day

SAMSUNGI used to wake up every morning and the first thought I had was, “what do I have to do today?” Before I had even gotten out of bed, I would go through my list of tasks , both personal and professional. As I went to bed,  I would decide the value of my day by how many things I got ticked off my list. And then I hit an emotional bottom that is familiar to many entrepreneurs; that clunk when you realize you work most of the time and you’re slowly going broke. This is embarrassing to me as an advocate for pleasure, to admit that I was feeling like a round peg trying to be square. Well, they say most healers are incapable of healing themselves. I was also not succeeding, at least by the standard I was measuring myself against, of financial success.

I’ve spent the last four weeks in travel, reflection and rejuvenation.  In late June, I put all my belongings in storage and hit the road with my daughter and Pandora the Pleasure Puppy.  We spent a week in NYC visiting family. And then I spent two more weeks in Lancaster, PA, alone for a few days, but mostly with dear friends.  One landmark day, I spent all my time watching season one of The L Word, broken up by occasional blackberry picking,  walking the dog, and flirting with people on OK Cupid. I felt as if I had woken up from a nightmare in which I had to prove my worth every day by how much I got done, and what an effective business woman I was being.  My value was rising and falling by whether I got enrollment in my latest class or coaching program. Granted, I was doing all these things in a more pleasurable way than most, I am a committed hedonist, after all.  But the truth was, that I was not living from my soul.

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The Body Never Lies

boundariesAre you a natural-born people pleaser?  I am. I just realized that I was traumatized by the birth of my sister when I was three years old.  suddenly, I was no longer the center of attention. Not only did this usurper come along, but we moved to a new apartment which meant my bed got moved out of my parents room and into a space all by myself.  Abandonment!! My response to this apparently was to devote myself to the baby’s needs.  All she had to do was grunt and point and I was running.  I was going to be a very good girl, in order to earn back the love my child mind felt was lost to my sister.  Is it any wonder that I am always trying to live up to some impossible standards now? That all my loved ones need to do is grunt and point, and I run, Pavlovian, to fulfill the need?

To be fair to myself, I am a recovering People Pleaser.  I am getting more confident in my ability to say no (and an authentic yes) every day. I have  learned to listen to my body, and trust the answers I get. So much of having a happy, healthy sex life revolves around knowing our boundaries. When I work with my clients, I always tell them,

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Can this Marriage be Saved?

Yesterday, I had really fun lunch with my friends, psychologists Ted Riskin, and Marcia Gleason. I had never met Marcia, who is the founder of The Exceptional Marriage, however she and her husband were on my radio Portrait of unhappy young couple in bedroomshow last year. We were talking about the importance of sex to a happy, healthy relationship.  She told the story of a couple, her clients who were in a bad space.  She said, “I know you two don’t feel like it, but go have sex. It will help.”

This is not just frivolous advice.  Orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, aka “The Bonding Hormone.” It creates  feelings of relaxation and connection. And while I’m certainly not espousing that you bypass your anger and forget about it, the intimacy created during sex can make the difficult conversations go smoother. Also, take a look at the physiological markers of anger:

  • Blurred Vision: The pupil dilates to let in more light to help focus on the threat.  Other distractions within view may become less distinct.
  • Headaches, dizziness: The brain produces adrenaline, which creates a ‘rush’.  If insufficient oxygen reaches the brain, this can lead to faintness and confusion.
  • Dry Mouth: The production of saliva is required for digestion; as digestion slows or ceases during arousal, saliva is not required and therefore not produced.
  • Tense Shoulders, aching neck, back and head: Large skeletal muscles contract, ready for action. This tension can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Blushing, sweating: The body needs to get rid of the heat generated in the production of energy.  Capillaries below the surface of the skin dilate and sweat is excreted through the skin’s pores.
  • Faint, fast, shallow breathing, breathlessness: The lungs attempt to provide the blood with more oxygen, leading to rapid breathing. However, ultimately this process reduces oxygen as breathing becomes too shallow.
  • Increased blood pressure: (racing heart), palpitations; more blood is pumped around the body carrying oxygen to produce energy.
  • Indigestion, nausea: Digestion slows down or ceases as it is a non-vital function.

Guess what?

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Our Wound is Our Gift

I’ve been writing lately about why I am a sex coach and educator.  I knew that it came from seeing how my past journey could help others.  What I didn’t know was that it was my destiny. I recently learned of Chiron, and what it means in your astrological profile. Before you go pooh poohing astrology, think about this; we know that the planets have a clear affect on bodies of water, and our bodies are mostly water. . . therefore, the planets do affect my personality.

According to www.cafeastrology.comChiron is a comet with a unique and erratic orbit. In the natal chart, Chiron is symbolized by the “wounded healer”. It represents our deepest wound, and our efforts to heal the wound. Chiron was named after the centaurchiron in Greek mythology who was a healer and teacher who, ironically, could not heal himself. Chiron in our natal charts points to where we have healing powers as the result of our own deep spiritual wounds. We may over-compensate in these areas of life. Chiron, as a wounded healer, first must face issues of low self-worth and feelings of inadequacy and learn to rise above these issues. Because the wound goes deep, and we may work hard to overcome the wound, healing powers are potent.”

Chiron is currently located in Pisces, which is my 8th house.  And here is what that means:

“Chiron in the 8th house: What a great sex therapist you can be. A more likely scenario is that you have the ability to bring out the sexual best in a romantic partner, while giving yourself the short end of the stick (no pun intended). But the 8th house rules more than sex. You might tend to accept other people’s values (your family, group or society) too readily. One other thing. The myth of Chiron can actually come alive with this placement. You could have a talent for healing or rehabilitating others, but not yourself.” (courtesy of astrologer Bob Marks).

My jaw dropped when I read this. It seems it was my destiny to do this work. I was wounded at age 8, when I was sexually molested. I write more extensively about my healing journey here. From that experience I have come to believe passionately in the right of every human being to experience the full vitality of their being. The chakras that govern our sexuality, also control our creativity and emotions. By freeing up our sexuality, we become more potent creators. The work of releasing old beliefs and traumas is not just mental work.  We need to also move it through our physical body.  That is why I incorporate energy work into all my  programs.  That is why I teach physical exercises and techniques to my students to get them back in touch with their bodies. As for being unable to heal or

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In praise of women over forty

This lovely tribute to women over forty has been circulating the internet for years, incorrectly attributed to Andy Rooney.  It was actually written by Frank Kaiser, the founder of a humor and blog website called Suddenly Senior. You have to love a website that allows you to adjust the fonts of the site with one click to make it larger.  They know their audience, and the jokes are cute.  Reproduced here for your enjoyment, and thank you Frank!

In Praise of Older Women

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