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How to Be an Empowered Woman

woman-EMPOWERMENT

By Marcea Hibbert-Roye

Empower means to ‘give the authority or power to do something.’ A person can empower others, giving them the authority or power to do something or an individual can give himself or herself this same authority or power.

Empowerment fulfills not just a physical task that can be done by giving the empowered person the ability to perform but also the undeniably psychological or spiritual uplifting that is achieved through empowerment. In a world that can appear to demean women, empowering them can have many benefits in securing women to be healthy participants in society. However, it is more important for women to empower themselves against some of the tough challenges they may face.

How To Be An Empowered Woman:

The first thing to being an empowered woman is to give you the power to empower you. When you give you the permission to act, the Universe will rearrange itself providing you with the tools to get the job done. When you give you the authority to act, then you shift the paradigms mentally and psychologically to achieve. Therefore, it is very important that you empower you to empower you.

Say to you “I give myself the authority to act in accordance to what is right for me.’ This will ensure that your mind, body and soul lay congruent as this combination is integral to change and achievement.

Say to you ‘By giving myself this authority, I consider myself worthy of achievement, I am able to act appropriately, independently or with the support of others.” Some people think that independence is the highest achievement indicating true abilities. Yet, it is the acquisition of inter-dependence that is truly necessary for empowerment. Inter-dependence is the realization that whilst you can act independently, we are all inter-connected to others and will need others to get some of our task completed. It is a foolish person that thinks that they do not need anybody else. True empowerment recognizes the need for others.

Say to you ‘I believe that I am capable, that the task at hand is attainable.’ It is important that you believe that you can do something even if you do not truly believe that it is ‘doable.’ Allow yourself to dream that you are doing an actual task or living that actual life and then you start the process of believing.

Say to you ‘I am aware of all opportunities presenting themselves for my benefit.’ Sometimes we have a fixed vision of what we think we need to complete a task that we miss an opportunity to achieve because we do not recognize the help that is presenting itself. Be aware of all things that may be an opportunity, question everything to see whether this is your gift to use. Be flexible.

Say to you ‘I forgive myself for all the mistakes that I made. I have learned much from these choices and I am clear with my ongoing journey.’ It is all too easy to ruminate over past experiences that may not have ended up productive. All this does is keep you stagnant. Permit you to let go and move on. Discontinue the resulting negative self-talk and say that ‘I learnt what does not work for me.’

Say to you ‘I am love, I am of love.’ This statement is very important to sink into your sub-conscious. This statement will act as the driving force to all your achievements. This statement secures self-worthiness ensuring that you can overcome any challenges that may present itself whilst striving for achievement.

Many times when we have a task at hand to do, we sabotage the achievement by talking ourselves out of our achievement. We do not think that we are worthy of attainment and do everything within our power to make sure that we prophesize our thoughts. When the inevitable un-achievement happens, we comfort ourselves with the notion that we were right not to believe. This also happens when we secretly dream of a goal but we minimize our ability to achieve by playing small in fear of achievement. To empower you will increase your chances of living you as you.

Every woman is born with the requisites to achieve. Every woman is born with an internal support system that invariably they have been taught to disconnect from. They do not believe in their own power and seek consciously derived solutions to their problems. When this method does not work, they ignore the ‘little voice’ informing them of what they need to do to get back on track. As a result, the woman becomes disillusioned as she struggles to cope with what she knows to be right for her with what she is actually doing. Get to know your ‘intuition’ and trust her to know what is right for you.

Be you, Do you.

My name is Marcea Hibbert-Roye, qualified Social Worker and Life Coach. I work as a Strategic Lead Developer for Women. My specialism is developing emotional awareness in females as I am passionate about improving women’s lives. I have devised a 6 Step Program that promotes good emotional health by accessing information held in the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The result is having more control over thoughts, feelings and behavior.

We have a range of cards that can be used to initiate and stimulate conversations for females especially supporting them through challenging experiences. There are cards that also reminds the female that she is worth it!

Help to improve your life by better understanding you and why life is experienced in the way this it is. It is only when you have the tools for change, will change happen.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marcea_Hibbert-Roye
http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Be-an-Empowered-Woman&id=8175812

 

Evaluate the Good, Bad and Useless in Your Life

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By Katie O’Brien

If you’ve heard the saying ‘clean house’ you know it doesn’t necessarily imply using any harsh cleaning supplies. Cleaning house can also be referred to your ‘internal house.’ Just as we would go through our rooms in our homes, dust, polish, declutter and rid of old useless items… we find it helpful to do this within ourselves, too.

It’s best to start by taking inventory. You’ll want to note the good, bad and useless that live within. These can be habits, traits, feelings, actions, relationships, careers… anything that comes to mind about your internal housekeeping. Take note on what you love and what you hate, what is useful to you and maybe not so useful. Awareness is key. Once an inventory is created it will be much easier to choose what to polish and shine… or not.

[Tweet “Awareness is key.”]

So take out a piece of paper and on the front jot down all the good. And then on the back, write everything you’re not too fond about. Where you’re stressed, frazzled, where you could use some improvement.

Now once your list is created. Take the items, habits, feelings, traits, relationships, careers from the back, the ones you don’t find helpful, useful or healthy and begin to make note of how you can eliminate these from your life. What can you do to transform these not so good areas into something great? Think how life would be different once this area was transformed into something that serves you vs. works against you.

Okay next. The items on your list you love and want to have stick around. These are the items that make you feel good, that you’re proud of, that make you smile at the thought of them. Take time to reflect on how each of them make you feel. What good do they bring to your life? And now consider, how can you attract more of the same in to your life?

Your inventory can be as long or as short as you wish. Think of each area in your life as a different room. One may be relationships, one may be work, one may be family, one may be financial. When you enter each ‘room’ give some thought on how you can clean up that area to better serve you. Taking this time and going through this process gives you the opportunity to attract and remove whatever you’d like in your life.

You have to choice on what sticks around in your life. Why not make a conscious decision and start creating better experiences for yourself?

Life Coach for Moms, Katie O’Brien, helps women create a healthier, happier balance in life with their new baby. No matter how old their babies are, through coaching she help moms thrive and shine all throughout their mommy-hood journey. Download her Free Top Tips for Bliss at kaocoaching.com!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Katie_O’Brien
http://EzineArticles.com/?Evaluate-the-Good,-Bad-and-Useless-in-Your-Life&id=8193854

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Why tell the truth?

“It’s not worth it to tell the truth,” is something I hear people say quite often. Well, that depends whether you are really measuring what you’re losing by lying, and whether you really care about what you’re losing. You may not notice the gradual deterioration of your once-intimate relationship into a casual daily exchange of niceties – but that is what tends to happen when you are consistently, consciously, and carefully withholding information about your feelings and you activities from your partner over a period of time. The lie we’re usually talking about here is attraction to another person– although sometimes it’s simply a deep attraction to an activity or a way of life. Really, there isn’t necessarily a lot of difference. People can be just as jealous of an activity that their partner enjoys more than spending time with them, as they would be of a person whom their partner was seeing. Sometimes people just need to be more important than anything or anyone else. That in itself makes one wonder . . . but that’s material for another post. Right now I’m writing about why you would tell the truth to your partner when you know or you are afraid that s/he will be angry once the truth is in the open.

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Your partner being angry shouldn’t be the end of the world. If she is good at dealing with her feelings, s/he will soon get over the anger and start looking at a solution to the problem – if s/he considers there is a problem there, which she may not (always be careful of jumping to assumptions about what others will or even do think). If you are regularly withholding information and feelings from your partner because you are afraid of his/her anger, then something is wrong in the relationship and you probably should be seeing a therapist or a couples counselor. If it’s just one thing you are being secretive about, then how you deal with it is your call. Think about what you gain by holding that secret and what you would gain by being open about it. Think about the long term– if you keep on keeping it a secret, perhaps that will make it much worse when the time arrives when it is revealed, or you become so afraid that it will be revealed that you are in a constant state of stress. You need to ask yourself these questions before it gets to that point: Does it make you feel bad to be keeping this information from your partner? If so, then it is affecting your relationship negatively. Is that OK with you? And if so, why is it OK? How bad will it have to get to be not OK? And those questions may take you to this one: Is your relationship already on the rocks? Does it need some really radical re-organization?

Truthfully, when you really love someone, you want the best for that person and you support them in whatever brings them joy, even if it means they will spend less time with you. It requires having a life separate from your lover that you really enjoy, and it requires a deep sense of self-esteem to be able to operate from that self-less place. It doesn’t work to pretend that you are operating from that place if you really are not, so don’t even go there. Own up to your real feelings, and in doing that there is always the possibility they will change, especially if you have good friends who are willing not to take the normal path of trashing the person who is “betraying” you. I do know people who can deal well with multiple partners. Operating from a consistent place of jealous control, which means needing to stop your partner from doing things just because you don’t like them is pretty childish and immature, after all. I believe that we are evolving to a place where polyamorous relationships will be accepted and supported—not that everyone will be doing it, but there will not be an assumption that no one is doing it.

So I encourage people to be absolutely honest with each other. Standing in that place of integrity is a place of power, and that expectation can be set up from the beginning. Still, there are times when honesty needs to be tempered by kindness. There is no need to tell your partner that this new person you’re sleeping with is the best lover you have ever had, or that you think her tits are magnificent. Respect your partner’s feelings, just as you would wish her/him to respect yours. You don’t need to pass on every thought that goes through your head.

Mikaya Heart (mikayaheart.org) is an award-winning author and a life-coach, using shamanic methods to teach people how to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. Her last book was The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women; her next book is Life, Lies, and Sex: A User’s Guide to Being in a Body.

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: An Alternative Wedding

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Wanna get married? I recently officiated at a very fun wedding held on some land in northern California. The couple were both in their thirties, and the half that did most of the organizing is an accomplished artist who designed and sewed her own dress, made hundreds of origami cranes, and etched names in glasses as presents for those friends who helped her get it all together.

Get wedding dance lessons from the Dance Doctor!

About a hundred guests gathered in the center of a field where straw bales covered in various beautiful pieces of cloth were set in a circle for everyone to sit on. I began a slow drum beat and was joined by a woman on a violin. Sage and Nate came walking towards the circle from different directions, meeting at the south point. We walked to each direction in turn while I did an invocation, which, when it’s done with a sense of authority, is always a great way to set the scene. Then we went to the center of the circle, and I spoke about the ceremony, telling the guests that they were active participants in this, and by their presence here they were making a commitment to allowing love to flow through them freely; it has to start with loving yourself with all your faults and your body with all its imperfections, and then you extend that outwards and accept everyone around you with all their faults. You don’t need to have a lover to do that, you can love the checker at Safeway just by looking into her/his eyes.

Sage had made leis with the origami cranes and both of them went up to their parents, putting a lei around their necks and thanking them. Then one of Sage’s friends came up to read a poem by Rumi. For those of you who don’t know, Rumi was a Persian poet who died several centuries ago. His writing is all about passionate love, and although most people maintain that he’s talking about a spiritual passion, it has some powerful references that can certainly be interpreted in a physical sense.

Rings were threaded on a very beautiful braided cord made by Sage. I removed them from the cord and they both placed their rings on the others hands, reading vows which they had previously written. They included things like promising to try not to burn the coffee in the morning, which added a great flavor of humor. Another friend came up, and took the hand-fasting cord, asking them if they were ready to get tied up and then binding their wrists together. (Hand-fasting is an ancient Celtic custom).

There was bread and wine on the table, and I held out the bread to each of them in turn, asking if they were committed to providing, to the best of their abilities, whatever the other needed to nourish body, mind, and soul. They fed each other some bread, and then that was repeated with a cup of wine, while I asked if they were willing to fulfill each others needs for passion and creativity, always keeping the others glass overflowing.

I turned to the audience and asked if they were willing to accept these two as partners on this journey of life, and everyone shouted yes with great enthusiasm while the couple sealed the deal with a kiss. I admonished them to recall this feeling of love throughout the hard times as well as the easy times, and particularly to be in that same place of love should they ever need to re-negotiate their vows. Finally I gave the audience a job: each of them was to go up to one other person during the evening (someone they knew or not) and, looking into that person’s eyes, say something along the lines of: in this moment, I see who you are, I see the beauty and magnificence of all that you are, and I honor that from the depths of my heart.

Leaving most of the guests, those of us who had been involved in the organization went down to the house with Sage and Nathan where we signed all the relevant papers and were given our personal engraved glasses. In a flat area further up the hill, long tables had been made out of pallets, and several people had been working to organize what turned out to be an amazing and copious feast of tastes: a dinner made up from dozens of potluck dishes provided by all the guests. A band set up and we celebrated the evening away.

Weddings are meant to be about love, but many of them are a sham. This was for real, with an abundance of love and beauty, and a very relaxed yet powerful atmosphere. It was certainly the most delightful wedding I have ever attended.

Mikaya Heart (mikayaheart.org) is an award-winning author and a life-coach, using shamanic methods to teach people how to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. Her last book was The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women; her next book is Life, Lies, and Sex: A User’s Guide to Being in a Body.

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Dealing with Anger

Couple sitting up in bed, both looking away   Original Filename: couple.jpg

I apologize for the long delay in posting – life has just been incredibly full and busy!

OK, following on from my last post, I’m still on the subject of communication and anger. Although it’s true that someone who is very afraid will never be able to communicate clearly, and that some people have no desire to communicate clearly, I’ve seen more mis-communication occur because of anger than for any other reason. Sometimes it’s just about different styles: person A stating something categorically may be read by person B as angry, when in fact A is just being emphatic. But it’s also true that some people walk around all the time with a very consistent level of anger. Once either partner is reacting to what s/he thinks is going on, rather than speaking from his/her center and listening to the other person without assumptions and judgments, then real communication can’t happen. (And anger is a powerful emotion which can quickly overwhelm the person who feels it being aimed their way, even if they are only imagining it!) So the first thing is to work out whether A really is angry or whether B is assuming s/he is angry and reacting to that. If it’s the latter, then B needs some reassurance to make her/him see differently. If A really is angry, then s/he needs to acknowledge that and get to the root of what’s causing it. That can be a huge and life-changing journey, because the anger is often about past experiences, and it requires the willingness to let go of those, forgiving one-self and others. In the end a person who wants to get over being chronically angry has to make a very serious commitment to addressing it; and his/her partner may not be able to help very much. It can be a lonely journey—but as someone who has done it, I can assure you that it’s well worth it.

Here is an extract from an article I wrote about anger:

“The art in dealing with feelings of anger is go to fully into them, to make friends with them, to go to the very roots of them, and hear what they are telling us. Those feelings are always truthful and it is never useful to ignore them for long (we may have to ignore them for short periods in order to behave in a socially acceptable manner). They usually only turn into roaring fury because we have been trying to ignore them. Once we really learn to honor our feelings, and pay attention to them, we become very familiar with them and we can act on their messages before they become roaring fury.

“Some people are stuck in situations which make them feel angry, and they need the anger to motivate them to change. Once you have escaped the initial situation that was making you angry, it’s sometimes just a matter of updating your reality. In other words, you may find that the anger is no longer relevant, and the sensation of anger is just an old habit. How do you go about updating your reality so that the chronic anger is released? Setting intention is always the most powerful tool of change, and then it is necessary to be brave enough to be truthful. A lot of people are in denial about their anger. Acknowledge the truth of what you are feeling, allow yourself to weep with the desperate frustration of not having what you need, allow your body to feel the fullness of it, to be filled up with it; and then let it go. If it doesn’t pass, look deeper. What aspects of your life do you need to change in order to stop feeling angry?

“Because it is life-force energy, trying to control anger will depress your life force, so in the long term, it cannot be controlled without some negative effects. When anger has been buried, it leaks out as irritation, bitchiness, a disapproving attitude, a constant need to belittle others (for instance). As a result of growing up in cultures that insisted on denial of anger, most of us have years of repressed anger to deal with, so we have first to deal with those old layers before we can get to the root of what anger is telling us about the here and now. Peeling away those old layers often involves expressing the outdated repressed feelings. That can happen very quickly and easily once you decide that you are willing to do it. It’s necessary to do it without blame or judgment, and without dumping on others. Be sure that when you find yourself justifying your anger at someone else’s expense, then you are on the wrong track. So just stop right there, and allow the feelings to come up; dive into them instead of trying to avoid them. There is never any need to blame others, even when it is someone else’s actions that appear to initiate the anger that we feel. We all have to do whatever we have to do, and everyone is doing their best, even when it seems extraordinary or unpleasant. You may express anger towards someone because you perceive them as being abusive and you want to stop them, and you may see that expression of anger as entirely appropriate. Others might agree or might not, but if you are being completely honest with yourself, you will know whether you are looking for a convenient outlet for your anger rather than going deeply into the truth, or whether you are simply stopping someone from treating you in a way you find disrespectful, which I would normally consider ethical behavior. We must learn to take responsibility for ourselves, which requires being honest and clear with ourselves. Never waste time justifying what you feel. What you feel is what you feel. If you deliberately hurt someone because you are angry, it may certainly be appropriate to apologize; but if you are acting upon the information the anger is offering you and taking care of yourself with due consideration for others, then there is no need to apologize.”

Mikaya Heart (mikayaheart.org) is an award-winning author and a life-coach, using shamanic methods to teach people how to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. Her last book was The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women; her next book is Life, Lies, and Sex: A User’s Guide to Being in a Body.

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Moving Beyond Fear And Anxiety

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Unless you are one of those lucky people who just happens to be with someone who wants to have sex exactly the way you do, the art of negotiation is an essential skill. By that I mean that you need to be able to listen to what your partner is saying without taking aboard any judgments, and you need to know what you want, and be able to express it clearly to your partner in a manner that s/he can hear. Then you need to take appropriate action so you both get what you need. Normally, what gets in the way of clear negotiation is fear of making ourselves vulnerable to negative judgments, or anger that arises (or usually, has already arisen) because we are not getting our needs met. In an ideal relationship, in an ideal world, you are not afraid of what anyone else thinks because you know it says more about him/her than it says about you; and you have not allowed anger (or resentment which is the same thing) to build up because you have addressed it as it arose. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and we generally have to learn these kinds of things through experience, because no one is teaching us.

Respect is integral to good communication and therefore to a healthy relationship. I don’t just mean respecting your partner, but also respecting yourself and your own needs. The one is just as important as the other, because if you don’t respect your own needs, you will be a needy person, and the manifestation of that isn’t usually attractive. You both have your own lives and yet you are able to demonstrate your love for each other, take risks, and consider new ideas. You honor whatever it is the other wants, even though it may not be what you want. That requires operating consistently on every level from a place of trust and love. This does not mean you are certain your partner will never leave you. On the contrary, you know that your partnership may not last a lifetime, just because we live in a world where change is the only constant. But you know that doesn’t mean your life will fall apart and it doesn’t mean your partner will stop loving you. Love has very little to do with whether a relationship lasts a long time; that has more to do with compatibility and the ability to communicate.

Good communication cannot occur in an atmosphere of fear, even if it’s only an undercurrent. Most of us have to deal with fear on some level, or with some of its close relatives such as anxiety. Some of my friends have described me as fearless because I am a keen kite surfer, which is a fairly extreme sport, but the fact is that I am very familiar with fear. I have learned how to step outside the feeling so that I can look at whether it’s valid or not, and whether I am willing to allow it to motivate me. That ability is an important one to cultivate.

Fear and self-esteem don’t go together. If you want to stop being afraid of other people’s judgments, you must develop self-esteem, which means you must know that, no matter what happens, you always deserve to be treated with respect (and so does everyone else). That can be a long slow path and often requires help. If you’re lucky, you find yourself in a healthy relationship with a partner who is respectful of you, and that teaches you what respect is. If you don’t have a partner or close friends who can do that, go to a group such as Alanon, or find a therapist.

Sometimes the fear that’s getting in the way is about being alone in the world: your motivation is not to have a healthy relationship but to prevent your partner from leaving you. You are willing to disrespect yourself and ignore your own needs in order to keep your partner. If you can honestly admit to yourself that that is true for you, and you don’t like it, then you are halfway to changing it. Again, the answer is often to get support from other quarters. Make a proactive choice to spend time alone on a regular basis, and do things you love; get a life that carries on without your partner. Involve yourself in charity work, take classes in creativity, work with animals—whatever turns you on. Many of us are afraid of growing old alone, but in this day and age you don’t need a partner or even a family in order to avoid that. There are many other options.

Most of us have inordinate fears around sex. Men and women are afraid they won’t be able to “perform” (a word that inspires anxiety and does not belong in the bedroom) . Our ideas of what a correct performance is and our attempts to conform to that prevent us from being spontaneous and truthful about what we really want. Many of us are at least a little afraid of being completely truthful and trying new things. You have to learn to acknowledge any fearful motivations and put them to one side, setting the intention of being present and real. This applies to communication on sexual matters as much as it applies to discussing what you are going to do today or for this lifetime. Sex is a metaphor for life, outlined in neon lights so that any false-ness has immediate consequences which will inevitably prevent any lasting satisfaction. What do you really want from a sexual exchange? If it is to get the most joy possible (for instance), your best approach is to relax and encourage your partner to relax, which allows both your bodies to express themselves freely. Both of you have much more chance of experiencing true, deep pleasure that way than by trying to do things “right” according to some rote method.

Now apply that to your daily life.

Mikaya Heart (mikayaheart.org) is an award-winning author and a life-coach, using shamanic methods to teach people how to operate from a place of trust instead of fear. Her last book was The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women; her next book is Life, Lies, and Sex: A User’s Guide to Being in a Body.

The Importance Of Taking A Break For Happiness

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Feeling stressed? Cramming for a big project at work or school? Stop what you are doing right now and take a break. You may discover that doing so might vastly improve your happiness.

Alex Lickerman, MD, a Buudhist physician, writes that “resilience doesn’t develop by removing stress from our lives (an impossible feat in any event).” Instead, Dr. Lickerman writes at the Happiness in the World site, “It develops when we’re exposed to stress and then given adequate time to recover from it.

What stress management in your life has to do with getting pumped up

Think about when you start an exercise program. For example, lifting weights can build our muscles and strength. But it only happens when you schedule regular rest times.

As Jeff Behar of Bodybuilding.com says, “It is rest that makes you stronger, because it is the rest that allows the muscles that you have broken down to heal and recover. It is the rest that allows you to recover so you can be strong, and thereby handle the increased weight, and increased number of sets and reps needed to gain further.” Behar also says that “without proper recovery time, not only will you reach a performance plateau, but you also will run the risk of injury, and may even experience reduced performance (less strength, less endurance, etc.).”

Sound familiar? We think that if we just push harder, work longer, stay at it as hard as we can, we will get everything done. Our culture rewards the idea of burning the midnight oil, and pushing as hard as we can. Think about how many people you know who talk about the long hours they put in as a badge of honor.

Yet like those weightlifters who over train, we experience reduced performance while working so hard. And paradoxically, as many life coach experts advise, the best thing we could do is to take a break, relax a little, and clear out heads, instead of grinding and doing the same thing over and over.

What you can do to get to your happy place

In his book The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor has very different advice when it comes to a big project or presentation than you may normally hear. He suggests that instead of cramming and going over everything again and again, he advises that people take a break and do something fun to get themselves in a happy frame of mind.

Do you have a favorite comedy routine that always makes you laugh? Look it up on YouTube now. What other things give you pleasure? Does it make you happy to look at pictures of cats being cute? Or maybe you enjoy some sort of crafting skill, like needlepoint or cross stitch or drawing?

Give this life coach tip a try the next time you feel overwhelmed at work. Take some time to get to your happy place. It does not mean you have to take a week off and go meditate in an ashram. Just spend a little time doing things that make you happy, and see if you feel renewed by doing so.

How To Have A Real Summer Vacation – Without Spending A Lot Of Money

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Summertime is supposed to be a fun time, but it’s not really a whole lot of fun to be sweltering in the heat doing nothing interesting while your friends are out gallivanting around the world.  So what can you do to enjoy summer, without having to run up your credit card bills or spend a fortune? Here are some tips that life coaching experts recommend:

Look for free or cheap summer-specific things to do in your city

Do you have things you always mean to get around to doing in your town in the summer, like checking out Shakespeare in the Park or the symphony’s outdoor performances or a local food festival, but you just have not gotten around to doing these things? Well, there is no time like the present. Look in your community for some of the many fun summer-specific event that there are, and make it a point to do one of those things every week.

Act like a tourist in your town

Along those lines, there are plenty of year-round things to do in your city or town.  For example, I recently walked Manhattan’s High Line, an old elevated railway line that has been converted to a beautiful park.  It is something I have been meaning to do more often – the flowered plants in the park bloom at different times, so it means a different experience every single time you visit it. Anyhow, I saw two tourists taking photos of each other, so I offered to take a photo of the two of them together. As I was doing so, the wife mused about how much there is to do in New York City, and wondered if people visited the great attractions all the time. I thought to myself that I had all these great things to see and do in the city, yet I did not do many of them. Anyhow, it is something to think about – consider what tourist attractions are in your town, and get to them now.

Consider taking three-day weekends

If you cannot afford to take a week-long vacation, think about how you can take a three-day weekend at a location within driving or public transportation distance. And make it a real break away from your life; spend your time enjoying the time away, not checking your email every five minutes.

Do that staycation

If you have leave time coming to you, but not a huge amount of money to spend, you can do that staycation. Incorporate the things suggested above, like finding free or cheap things to do, acting like a tourist in your town, and taking a mini-vacation. But also consider doing even more simple pleasures like just going to the movies or binge-watching a TV series like Arrested Development. You can get some exercise classes in that you have not have time for, or spend time in the local pool.

To learn more about tips on how to enjoy your summer, you might want to talk to a life coach.

Lisa Swan writes on a variety of life and career coaching topics. She lives in New York City.

 

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Loving Yourself

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These days there is a lot of talk about self-love, and many people will tell you that you must first love yourself before you can love anyone else. While that is true, I think it needs some explaining. What does it mean to love yourself, and how does that manifest in daily life? It’s really about taking care of yourself: being absolutely present in your body, in your life, appreciating the joys of being you, and the unique gifts that you embody. That is love.

We (women, at least) are taught to put others’ needs before our own, and many of us believe (subconsciously if not consciously) that no one will love us if we don’t do that. But this doesn’t really work in the long run. If you aren’t centered in your own being-ness (which is another way of comprehending the experience of loving yourself) before you start helping others, you will eventually get sick yourself, and how is that going to help others? Yet it is a common pattern, that we take care of others at our own expense for long periods of time; so common that we often don’t even realize we are doing it. In the end, you will get sick because you are worn down from constantly giving yourself away, and the only cure for that is getting love and attention from others. Or, another way of putting it is that we all need love and attention, and if we don’t give it to ourselves we will tend to get sick so that we then have a good excuse to get what we need from others. In my opinion that is not a desirable cycle.

Sometimes you can form a partnership with another person, or people, where you give each other the love and attention you need, but the downside of that is that you become dependent on them. Better to learn to give it to yourself, and then form healthy partnerships that don’t involve dependence, but support change and growth. Taking responsibility for fulfilling your own needs frees you up to love someone else unconditionally. You are not desperately looking for love from an external source.

The fact of being alive is enough to make you worthy of love, so don’t question that. You have to forgive yourself for not being perfect enough that you don’t need something. No negative self-talk, even when you make mistakes! No one is perfect and we’re not meant to be, since mistakes are a necessary part of life and learning. Perfection is not a useful concept. We all need love and appreciation, and it is really about allowing it to flow from inside. That is when we can never doubt it, because it is felt as utterly, unquestioningly authentic. An external source is always at least a little uncertain, and therefore there is always fear of losing it.

In the end, you must question your priorities. What do you want most in life? What will truly delight you? When I asked myself that question, the answer was that I wanted to bring more joy into the world. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to be in a place of joy myself. So I sold my place to go traveling and took up kite-surfing, a pastime that is not useful in any obvious way, but brings me a great deal of joy, and that in itself is of enormous value, because joy is infectious. By taking care of myself and doing what feels right to me, I benefit everyone. How delightful is that?!

Of course, this kind of thinking can lead to selfish behavior, and there is a fine line between selfishness and self-care, or self-love. The former comes from a place of ego that is unhealthy and the latter comes from a place of individuation that incorporates an understanding of oneness. Or you can put it this way: the former arises out of fear of lack and a sense that there is not enough, while the latter arises out of trust in abundance and a self-awareness that comes from a very deep place of love for all things. One is competitive and the other is cooperative.

Be fully, unapologetically who you are, instead of trying to fit into the molds that your upbringing and society want to impose upon you. Never betray yourself by saying yes because you think you should, only do so when you really mean it. This requires courage and a lot of very honest introspection, but it’s always worth it, because everything in life is more fulfilling and rewarding when you are coming from that place of authenticity. And when you love yourself enough to be truthful, you will find that “true love” comes into your life from all kinds of sources.

Mikaya Heart is an award-winning author and a life-coach. Her latest book is The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women (see mikayaheart.org)

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Finding and Expressing Love

expressing love

There are many ways to express love, and different people experience love in different ways. One of the keys to compatibility with your partner is when you both express and receive love in the same ways, so it’s easy and natural for you to make each other feel loved. The feeling of being loved is relaxing, and being relaxed is a state wherein problems tend to fall away. Even problems within the relationship will resolve more easily because a person who feels loved by you will more readily be able to listen to your needs.

So it’s well worth finding out what makes your partner loved. Some people need to be told, I love you. Others need to be given things, like flowers or meals. Others need to feel heard. Some people need space and others need constant companionship. If two people with opposite needs get together, they must learn to adjust to each other, and sometimes it can take an external source such as a therapist to point out what’s going on. A person who needs space and isn’t getting enough alone-time will be irritable. A person who doesn’t want to be left alone will get needy and demanding when s/he isn’t getting enough time with her/his partner. Both partners have to learn to give the other person exactly what it is that they would not want. Being able to do that will make the relationship not only viable but deeply rewarding. People need to get what people need, and when they do, they are generally more able to give others what they need. It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle. Once again, it comes back to knowing yourself and what you need, being able to communicate that to your partner without making him/her feel defensive, and being able to hear your partner communicate her/his needs to you.

Love is a natural state of being. You can easily grow to love someone, and decide to continue in an intimate relationship with that person just because it gives you the companionship and sense of security that you want even if it is missing some major components, such as exciting sex. As I have said before, great sex in itself isn’t what makes a relationship work. Living with someone every day, sharing your daily life and having kids often isn’t conducive to exciting sex. Maybe you will want to go elsewhere if that is really important to you. Going elsewhere isn’t wrong or bad; but I value a world where people tell the truth, so I hope that if you go elsewhere, you will do so openly and discuss it with your partner.

On the other hand, let’s be realistic: some relationships are not based on honesty. It may be important to keep secrets from each other. Perhaps you need to feel like you have your own life and you are not totally dependent on this other person’s approval. (If you want a deep and meaningful relationship then you are already off to a bad start—but “deep and meaningful” is not for everyone). Women’s friendships with other women often fulfill a role that is missing for women in their relationships with their husbands; they can talk about things they would never talk about with him. And he can go fishing with his buddies, which he might never do with his wife. We in the West are very privileged to think that we can have relationships based on love. Many white men go to places like the Philippines and Indonesia to find a wife who will simply take care of them and occasionally have sex. Plenty of women from such impoverished countries are willing to do that in exchange for money which they send back to their families. It probably seems like a good deal to both of them. And love may grow from roots like those. It’s certainly not my job to tell anyone they should be looking for something more.

Many people have sex without real intimacy and therefore miss out on what could be an incredible experience, because they are too scared to go deep, or simply don’t perceive it as a possibility. This can be addressed and changed at any stage in the relationship. When I wrote the first edition of The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women, I called up radio stations to ask if they would do reviews. On one occasion I pitched to a middle-aged man from the Midwest who had clearly never reviewed a book about sex. He hesitantly agreed to look at a copy of the book and I sent it off, thinking I would never hear from him again. A couple of weeks later he called me and set up an on-air interview which went very well. Later he emailed me to say, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your book has improved my relationship with my wife beyond my wildest expectations, after forty years of marriage.”

Probably they had never talked about sex before. It brings tears to my eyes to think that I was able to initiate such a wonderful change.

Mikaya Heart is an award-winning author and a life-coach. Her latest book is The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women (see mikayaheart.org).

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Dr. Felicia Clark – Body Acceptance Coach & Author

IMG_1917Name and Occupation:
Dr. Felicia Clark, Body Acceptance Coach and Author

What do you love about being a woman?
I love that I have choices, supportive connected relationships with friends, and I love that I am both creative and logical.

What do you hate about being a woman?
I used to hate that we live in a sexist society. But, since I learned the power of my feminine energy, I no longer feel victimized by sexism.

Who influences you?
Presently, I am influenced by Michelle Obama, Dr. Cornell West, and Tim Wise. From the past, Carter G. Woodson, Fydor Dostoyevsky and many other writers who understood human psychology well..

Something about you that would surprise people?
I was a model at the top agency in the United States and also supervised and led the top achieving mathematics reform initiative team in the United States.

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am a life coach who works with women to claim their femininity in powerful ways while keeping their success.

www.ebooklifecoach.com

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Love

Love-Wallpaper

Let’s talk about love. I have said before and will say again that it is not love but compatibility and companionship that make a relationship work. You might love someone and yet need to stay well away from that person because s/he is abusive; but if you share many common interests with someone and s/he treats you well, then you grow to love that person because you gradually come to trust her/him the more you enjoy being together. Nevertheless, it is an extraordinary experience being in love with someone. It is truly a state of grace, when you look at a person and see only the epitome of beauty; when you look into someone’s eyes and it’s like falling forever; when you feel such intense delight at being with someone that you think you would happily die; when the lightest touch of skin on skin can make you orgasm; when you can’t think of anything or anyone else but that person. Why does that happen with some people and not others? I don’t really subscribe to the concept of chemistry since I see the body and the mind as a constant feedback loop. I think that sometimes we are just ready to go that deep, and when another person comes along who is also willing to go that deep, a connection is made. It also must be to do with the fact that our personal energies are in synchronicity—the vibe is right. You aren’t going to fall in love with someone who vibrates at a frequency that jars with yours.

Why doesn’t it last forever? Well, nothing lasts forever. We get on with our lives, and that is sometimes about going in different directions. The longevity of a relationship often has nothing to do with its quality, however much our culture might insist otherwise.

Most attraction is based not on falling in love as much as perceiving the possibility of a relationship that will give you what you want. That might be anything from a good-looking partner with lots of money and social credibility to someone who plays great music and is a good lover. But let’s not get too cynical: the vibration thing is very real. Our bodies are matrices of energy and all energy is vibrating at a particular frequency. When you meet someone who stirs something inside you, however slightly, you want that frequency to complement yours. It’s like music—certain kinds of music sound absolutely right and you want to listen to them again and again. You could see that person who stirs something inside you as having some quality that you want to integrate into your life, and that could be defined as what makes them attractive, even though you might not be aware of what it is.

Attraction doesn’t really relate to love except insofar as love relates to everything. Love is about being fully alive. It’s all around us. It’s the stuff of everything. It’s life force. We can cultivate a sense of love by watching and listening and partaking in all the life that is going on around us all the time. Appreciate and admire whatever you see or feel that pleases you. It might be a flower, a child playing, a cloud, a person, a car, a fast checkout at the grocery store, an animal, good weather—the possibilities are infinite. It’s best if you verbalize your pleasure aloud, but if you don’t want to do it aloud, then at least think it clearly to yourself, and allow yourself to smile. In other words, feel it in your body. That is about allowing life-force to move through you, it’s about being fully present. When you start doing this, you will meet others who do the same thing, and gradually you will learn to share this with each other. There is no finer thing than the physical intimacy that arises from sharing love with another person. It is much more than what this culture defines as sex, much more than intercourse. When you really make love, you are literally making love, you are operating from a place of simply wanting to give this person love, illustrate your love. You don’t need to bother about what society says you need to do in order to “perform” correctly. You only need to listen to your partner in the same way that you would listen to a piece of music, and then allow your own body to dance in response.

Whether this will develop into what we call a committed Relationship (as oppsoed to relating with a small “r” which we do with everyone and everything all the time) depends, of course, on how compatible you are. If not, that doesn’t mean that the sex hasn’t been a profound expression of love. Many people get stuck on repeating the experience of intensity that comes with particular lovers over and over even if the Relationship isn’t pleasant. Know that any experience of love comes from inside you. It’s not dependent on the presence of a particular external source. Yes, sometimes it seems like there is only that one special person who does it for you, and I don’t mean to belittle the pain that comes from letting go of that. But truthfully, when we really let go of what isn’t working, it makes space for something else which may be different yet also profoundly fulfilling and delightful.

Mikaya Heart is an award-winning author and a life-coach. Her latest book is The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women (see mikayaheart.org).

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Jillian Bullock – CEO of Jillian Bullock Enterprises

Jillian at book signing

Name and Occupation:

Jillian Bullock, fitness and wellness expert, health advocate, speaker, and life coach. Also, the CEO of Jillian Bullock Enterprises, a fitness and wellness company.

What do you love about being a woman?

I love the fact that as a martial artist and boxer I can be strong, fit, healthy, be my own woman, and compete against guys. Then I can turn around and be ladylike and sexy.

What do you hate about being a woman?

The fact that we are still treated as second class citizens in many parts of the world. As someone who teaches empowerment and self-defense to girls and women, it’s important to constantly work to make females safe and empowered.

Who influences you?

People who have overcome tremendous obstacles and challenges and went on to achieve happiness and success. Plus, those people who give back to their community.

Something about you that would surprise people?

Since I give motivational speeches and I look business like in my attire, people are surprised when they learn about my life story, which was published in my memoir, HERE I STAND, in 2012. HERE I STAND tells the story of my life as a young, African-American woman who defies the odds by becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, an award winning filmmaker and a competitive martial artist after I overcame life with the Philadelphia Italian Mafia, rape, drug addiction, violence, criminal activity, homelessness, prostitution, and teenage motherhood.

Anything else you`d like to add?

I am the creator of Fighting Spirit Warriors, a fitness for self-defense program for girls and women, ages 10-70 years old.

www.jillianbullockenterprises.com

Sex and Relationships with Mikaya Heart: Dealing with Jealousy – Again!

jealousy

I’ve touched on this subject before, but it’s so central in understanding how to have healthy relationships that it needs some in-depth examination.

There are not very many people in this world who have not felt jealous at some point or another, and it can take many forms. Let’s restrict it to the kind of jealousy that one tends to feel towards one’s intimate partner. Most people think that it’s natural and normal to feel jealous when your partner is sexually attracted to someone else, and many people don’t believe me when I say that doesn’t usually make me experience jealousy. I can find it quite arousing to think about my partner having sex with someone else. I’m not the only person who feels this way. Many polyamorous people have told me they find it exciting or pleasing to watch their partner flirting with someone else.

What makes it possible for some people to feel this way, while others will descend into an abyss of terror at the very idea? Are some of us just wired differently? That may be one way of looking at why we have such different reactions, but I think it’s more useful to examine exactly what it is that inspires what we call jealousy. It does seem to be primarily about security. If you are confident in yourself, and you operate from a place where you believe that life is full of possibilities, you are much less likely to be afraid of anything that anyone else is doing. You know that the world provides, and you expect yourself to have what you need. If you are uncertain about your value in the world, you are likely to be very anxious about losing what you have, and you tend to think of love as something you have or you don’t have. This is what makes people possessive about their partners, although, really, thinking of another person as something you have—something that’s yours—is a little strange. I certainly don’t like the idea that someone might be walking around in their daily life thinking of me as a possession. I might play with the concept in the bedroom—but I am a free entity elsewhere. And I expect my partners to act as free entities too. They make their own decisions. When we share intimacy, we need to be able to make some of those decisions together. But I am the one who will make decisions about what I do with my own life, and I don’t have any right to impose my desires on anyone else. I want my partners to be happy. In the long run, I know that I won’t be happy hanging out with someone who isn’t happy. However, I understand that many people are very afraid of being alone in the world, and they see love as a limited commodity.

Let’s go a little deeper. Many of us have been taught that the world is a dangerous place, especially for women, and we have to guard what we have, in case something or someone takes it away. I call this a survival mentality. A couple of hundred years ago, when our future was much less certain, and many of us struggled every day for food and shelter, most humans were in a survival mentality, operating from fear of scarcity. Since most westerners now live in a world where we can be pretty sure of getting enough to eat and a roof over our heads, we don’t live in scarcity any more. We don’t need to be anxious about getting our physical needs met. Does this mean we don’t need to be anxious about getting our emotional needs met either? I believe the two are inevitably inter-related, and we can learn how not to be anxious. That applies to being anxious about not having enough love as much as anything else. We can develop a perspective where we see that abundance surrounds us, and we can cultivate a constant awareness of the presence of love, so that we never feel alone. More on that in my next post!

Mikaya Heart is an award-winning author and a life-coach. Her latest book is The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women (see mikayaheart.org).

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