Do you have 10 seconds right now to find out?
I’m sure you’re as crazy busy as I am.
as I was running up my garden steps to the car,
(not noticing much of anything but my mind’s agenda)
the scent of my peonies stopped me mid-stride
and pulled me back down the stairs.
Those 10 seconds with my face in theirs made my day.
Last month it was my lilacs.
Daffodils before that.
Spring is a sensual feast I inhale in great gulps.
That’s why, now more than ever
— whether I’m thriving or feel totally overwhelmed —
I will not miss this wake up call to life.
It’s just too good!
I think that’s a big part of what our sensesare meant to do,
partnered with Nature’s abundance.
They’re here to wake us up
and turn us on again to the joy of living!
And with beyond-belief springtime bursting all around us,
all we have to do is give it 10 seconds.
This kind of sense pleasure does it’s own sort of shouting,
but only if we let ourselves be seduced.
It lays in wait to make us smile,
to ease the hard times,
and infuse our days with wonder!
What a shame we get lost in our thoughts
and forget to look up.
Turned off to the joy we were built to know.
Now THAT just wouldn’t do!
So… I’ve made you 12 days of reminders.
I’m calling it “Turn on in 12 Days”
Little emails to land in your inbox.
Snippets from my joy to yours.
My gift in honor of Spring!
I don’t cuss a lot. Or at least I didn’t used to.
But the election in 2016 has changed me. Maybe you, too?
Power politics may have been around forever, but when so many Americans could disregard a candidate’s “Grab her by the pussy” comment as just normal male bravado, I realized I’d been living in a deluded bubble.
Clearly we haven’t come as far as I’d thought!
But here’s the truth that has morphed my own work and life since 2016. Whether political or personal, it’s the abuse of power that still gets the pass. Sex, money, and gender are just it’s smoke screen.
As a women’s intimacy coach, it would be so easy to take sides here, to make it all about how f*cked up men are. But gender stereotyping doesn’t demand much intelligence. Still, how many times have you caught yourself in exasperation saying, “Men are so…!”
I assure you, behavior is determined by far more than genitals. Testosterone and estrogen do play a part, of course, and bad behavior needs calling out. Thank God for the “me, too” revolution! But when we get fired up, it’s way too easy to fall into an indiscriminating and habitual oversimplification and lose touch with what’s really going on.
No matter our gender, when we stay polarized in blame, we are all powerless, unwitting victims of a larger dynamic.
Since the election I’ve watched couples and individuals I’m working with get way more engaged as they untangle their blame and confusion around power. Sure, there’s no escaping how we’re shaped by our culture and childhood. But what’s really changing my clients’ lives and connections – no matter their gender – is exploring how their less-than-healthy masculine and feminine energies have been running the show.
What we’re really talking about here is power. How easy it is to wield it through force or playing the victim. How we try to get heard or abdicate our voice altogether. How we force ourselves beyond what’s healthy and then fall into a guilty vegging-out abyss. How control and familiar habits (in and out of the bedroom) help to keep us feeling safe but suffocate the juice and flow.
These are explorations and conversations that can change us from within. I love what’s been happening to me as I tap deeper into my masculine oak-tree consciousness and structure so my feminine flow can really let loose. I’m seeing in my own life and my clients’ the powerful shifts that are possible with this dawning awareness. Then the extremes of pseudo-power and the lose of our effectiveness can relax toward our natural purposefulness… and the pleasure that results.
What happens when you’ve been curious enough to take your gender assumptions off the table and look at what’s really driving you? Have you noticed that there’s way more power there? And vitality, too? Will you tell us down below in the comments?
I invite you to join me next Tuesday, April 10th at 6pm at Crystal Essence Wellness Center when we’ll be taking a deeper look at the way patriarchy has bastardized masculine power. (Grab a ticket before midnight tonight and save).
No matter your gender, your authentic yang energy wants expression — it’s what frees the flow and joy of your yin feminine. Peeling away what distorts our masculine essence may be the most important work of our time if we are to preserve the health and preciousness of life on this precious Earth.
And if you are curious, there’s more here…
Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m wearing red. Maybe you are, too. Maybe you’re thinking about flowers and chocolate and other things to celebrate this day.
Whether you’re partnered or not, I thought I’d share with you what happened last night in my world. For 7 years my friend Pooja Karina and I have offered a pre-Valentine’s event for local women called “Adoring the Beloved of Yourself.”
It’s so easy to assume that Valentine’s day is for people who have partners. That’s the obvious conclusion. But what I know is that what’s most important thing about this day is LOVE. Celebrating this holiday that someone put on the calendar in February is really an opportunity to celebrate self-love.
So last night, with 20 women sitting in a circle we talked about what it is to enjoy and really live in the pleasures that are here in the moment… instead of denying ourselves, overworking, and then vegging-out into all sorts of things that are just not that reverent to ourselves.
Looking ahead, these women each made a commitment for the next 40 days. Just as Lent is a set period of time for letting go of pleasures, this is a time for prioritizing the pleasures that help us to enjoy every moment… not the pleasures that we have to buy, but those here, now.
Women decided to commit to enjoying the bird song every morning, now that the birds are returning. Others chose to promise to touch their bodies first thing in the morning before they get out of bed, appreciating how well it works and how beautiful it feels.
There are so many ways to prioritize the beauty and pleasure of life instead of suffering, instead of slogging through and then not really giving yourself what you need.
So I invite you to do this, too… to make a commitment to yourself for the next period of time. Would you devote yourself to one practice that honors in the beauty and reverence for your body and senses enjoying present moment pleasure.
You can write your commitment below and share it with us. My promise is to put on the calendar a 5-minute break to dance every day, just to enjoy music. I love to dance. And I get busy and just don’t do it.
Let me know below what pleasure you’ll promise yourself this Valentine’s Day.
Because I’m just back from my women’s sensuality retreat in Mexico and about to go off to Costa Rica to lead another, this question is really up.
But why does it matter?
Even more importantly, why should you care?
We’ve had many women interested in our “Discover Your Sensual Self” retreat in Costa Rica, but several have told me they heard the word “sensual” and immediately got scared – is this what Mary offers, some kind of kinky swinger’s sex retreat?
So I decided to have some fun clarifying what this retreat — and my work — is really all about, and why sensuality and pleasure are so central to your health and happiness as a wise and mature woman.
First of all, what is the difference between sex and sensuality?
Sex is a looooaded word. So much baggage attached to these 3 letters! So let’s stick to this definition: sex means the act of sexual intercourse.
Sensual, as we use it here, is defined as connecting with the senses. The way I see it, it’s the pleasure of being in a body – of being embodied. Sex may be a part of the picture, but certainly not the whole picture.
The practice of attuning to your sensuality is simply focusing your attention on your senses — the passion, the creativity, the vitalizing enjoyment they create — in order to become more deeply connected with your body and the pleasures of living.
Is the pure pleasure of being in your body something you can relate to?
I understand if the answer is no. By the time we hit our 40’s and 50’s, most of us are worn out, stressed out, burnt out — and feeling good in our bodies seems like a thing of the past.
And we’re so overwhelmed by our responsibilities that we rarely make time for purely pleasurable experiences outside of eating and drinking. And even these are often hurried, unconscious, and guilt ridden.
Or, somewhere along the way we forgot that sensual pleasure is healthy, self-respecting, and a source of energy to sustain our lives and work.
The story you’ve probably heard is that it only gets worse from here, and that the best you can do is slow down the wrinkles and the weight gain by denying yourself the few sensual pleasures you get from food and drink.
Who wants to do that? You need more pleasure, not less!
Here’s why you need to connect more fully with your senses and get real pleasure – you will experience:
What foundational lifestyle habits do you practice to refresh, to revitalize,
to engage – sensually – with life? What do you do to truly be embodied?
Why go all the way to Costa Rica?
To sense. The lusciousness of the jungle, the warm perfumed air, the abundance of flora and fauna, all combine to put you at ease in your body, which is the first step to connecting with your sensuality.
To pattern break. Being in a new and unusual environment helps you to let go of old patterns and rituals that undermine your experience of daily pleasure. You create a new template of practical easy-to-integrate practices that easily translate into your life back home.
To connect. Being in tropical nature helps you re-calibrate your nervous system. It’s easier to release all those worries and mind games when you return to your body. You remember that you are a part of nature. You’re revived and rejuvenated, and even feel surprisingly safe. Far safer than you’re likely used to feeling.
To ditch winter. We spend most of our lives within four walls, in cars, and in winter, covered with layers of clothing. There is a unique pleasure in being outside in the open air.
To feel better than you have in forever. New place, pattern break, warm, rich tropical air. All good, great vacation. But this trip is an opportunity to learn a language of sensuality, to learn different techniques and practices, from qigong to yoga, and to discuss and explore them with other women.
What will you come back with?
Katherine Miller and I will be guiding you through simple practices to restore trust, vitality and harmony so you can start having fun in your body again: Qigong, Jade Egg, connecting to pleasure in eating, music, meditation and yoga. And this is just the short list!
“I can’t believe how different I still feel 4 months after the retreat.
Little by little I’ve dropped the critical voice inside that hated my body.
The more I tune into my senses, the more I enjoy my body and my life,
beyond all my lists and responsibilities.”
Imagine the possibility of being excited to be in your body, in anticipation of the pleasure you will experience each day…
That is my definition of an embodied woman. This is what this retreat is all about – coming home to yourself through the sensual enjoyment of your environment – what you eat, drink, feel, smell, touch, sense, and hear.
Even if you feel totally out of touch or completely at odds with your body, you can learn how to fall in love with it again, by tuning in and creating an environment that supports that.
And, you can come to Costa Rica where we have a whole program designed to fully support your journey into the realm of relaxation and sensual pleasure.
There is still time to register and get a ticket, but don’t delay, there are just a few spaces left and the retreat starts March 3rd!
I’d love to hear what you already do to connect with your sensual self. What’s your all-time favorite, sure-thing way to connect? I’m taking a survey… so leave your wins here.
En-joy it all,
P.S. Remember, the retreat starts in just one month, and you can still find great tickets out there! Check out details and register here.
I arrived back home Sunday morning from a week in Mexico leading my women’s retreat, “Awakening Your Divine Feminine Self – A Deeper Turn-ON.”
When I got home I made the video BELOW because I want anyone to experience what we just lived in Mexico on retreat.
And sure, you can get this without traveling 3000 miles, but on the other hand, sometimes we need to break the pattern we’re stuck in — and then the best thing to do might just be to go really far far away in a totally different environment… maybe like Costa Rica a month from now!
No matter where you are right now, here are 3 tips, 3 simple practices that can make your experience more powerful and delicious.
That’s it. Those are 3 of the simple practices that we landed in Mexico to bring presence, pleasure and delight, right here, right now, no matter where you are.
Take these tips into your life, especially if you’re in the chilly north. And let me know down below, right now, which one you’re ready to make part of your daily practices. I consider each of them a meditation, as fully as I do my traditional sitting practice.
And if your appetite’s been whetted, I’m off to warmer climates again in March – this time to Costa Rica with Katherine Miller, menopause expert and dear friend. Learn to expand your pleasure potential by establishing habits of reverent self-care. See more here or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more juicy details.
You might tattoo these words into your consciousness
for a more joyful,
It’s inevitable that we overdo and work too hard in a culture that rewards abuse. When we learn to listen with compassion to our bodies’ messages, effort drops away and we’re revived.
Hearing your inner wisdom can only happen when you allow (and this means schedule!) centered, quiet space to listen. This is vital self-care and the one choice that can transform all others.
In any moment, no matter where you are, there is at least the smallest bit of restorative transformative beauty waiting for you to notice it. Any day’s difficulties will melt if you’ll open your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin to welcoming this gift for your sustenance.
How do you tell for sure?
For most of my life I was surprised when my wild guesses were on target.
And weirdly, they were, more often than not.
But I had no idea how I knew what I knew.
It was all kind of spooky – so I didn’t bother to notice the patterns.
I’d usually just toss it off as luck.
It’s what most of us do.
We have a hunch that we label as silly
…or maybe a gut feeling we just ignore till it goes away.
These days, though, it’s more than just my gut that sends signals.
My whole body sings! REALLY!
I don’t know how else to describe it…
But with every passing year, the signs are more indisputably clear.
This is how feminine wisdom works!
Then, as if I ever doubted,
last Saturday morning my intuition came on line
more powerfully than I can remember,
tingling to get my attention in every cell of my body!
But some background first…
I’m in Hawaii this month, soaking in the love of my new grandbaby, Hazel!
(Don’t miss us on FB.)
Last weekend I took a quick flight over to Maui to meet up with Tamara,
my dear friend and colleague of 10 years.
Laughing and reminiscing, I began to realize just how aligned we still were.
AND what a powerful duo we’d be!
In that moment, overlooking the surf from her balcony,
there was no ignoring the tingling in my face and chest.
Like every cell of my body was saying YES!
I’ve come to recognize this as my ultra-clear guidance for the next right step.
So right then and there,
I asked Tamara to join me to co-lead my Awakening retreat next month in Mexico.
And here’s why…
Tamara brings vast experience and skills in holding space for women’s transformation.
She’s cultivated a deep sense of determined, focused masculine energy
IN ORDER TO
flow in her gorgeous feminine beauty.
That… or course, is what this retreat is all about!
But what I love most about this dear sister is that
she knows how to revere the feminine!
She masterfully holds space for women to feel safe.
And that’s what every woman needs
to release all that blocks our radiance and brilliance.
I can hardly sit still as I write this,
feeling into how it will be — the two of us as a team
and imagining all that will be birthed
for every women who will be at Haramara this January.
So, Dear Sister, if you’ve been putting your own wishes on the back burner,
…too busy with the holidays to even consider what you really need,
…thinking a few New Year’s resolutions on January 1st will be enough,
STOP now, and feel into what’s true.
What do you most need to live your beautiful, full-out and joyous life?
My Awakening your Divine Feminine Self retreat in Mexico is just over a month away.
If this retreat might be your answer, please don’t wait.
A gorgeous group of women have already booked their flights.
But I have to give firm numbers to Haramara next week.
so take this little step right now…
Anytime you need to know your own truth,
(And for now, what your own wisdom knows about the retreat,)
Sit still for a moment.
Take three deep quiet breaths.
Place your hand on your heart.
And ask your question….
Is now the time for me to more deeply awaken my beautiful feminine soul?
In this moment, notice how your body is responding?
You might have felt your torso pulling forward.
or a subtle tingling in your hands (or whole body – like me).
or maybe a lightness and fluttering in your chest.
How does your body say its intuitive YES?
Imagine how great it would be to know how each woman reading this
experiences her own unique intuition’s signals.
Can you tell us in the comment section below?
We’ll see if this is the next step for you right now.
(And only if it’s in perfect alignment with your inner wisdom.)
I may also be able to help you over the hump we all have
when we’re contemplating something big and important.
Now that was fun! Thanks for playing along.
And don’t forget to leave a comment down below!
I’m sending you big love, Sisters!
PS…So no matter whether Mexico is calling you
or you just need a bit of sisterhood guidance, I’m always here to chat.
All those shoulds just illuminate how disconnected we sometimes feel.
And yet social scientists say we’re interconnected beyond our wildest imaginings.
They have proof… And so do I.
Last Thursday eleven women who were strangers to one another just two months before
and vowing never to say goodbye.
When women come together for more than just small talk,
I call it Sisterhood.
It’s what happens when we vow to stop the comparison and catty criticism.
When we choose to let down our guard and be vulnerable.
To be nakedly real and honest about what’s actually happening.
THEN instead of what we most fear – judgment and rejection,
we fall into a rare and precious state of Grace.
Women rarely feel this safe with one another.
Who doesn’t have a mean girl story from middle school, or maybe last week?
But there is a movement happening,
Women’s circle culture is blossoming everywhere.
It’s blurring the usual boundaries of age, race, and sexual orientation.
Because there’s no denying the truth that women have known for millennia…
The old patriarchal pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, DIY culture never did work.
The truth is… we all thrive in connection.
We’re infinitely more powerful and purposeful when we work together.
*PS… Ready to know what it feels like to have a professional show you your highest potential, and the step-by-step plan that makes your best life your new normal life? Click here, book a time for us to talk, let’s make 2018 your year.
Brrr, it’s cold outside this morning.
There’s no doubt that winter is coming!!
If you’ve started to dream about escaping to some warm spot this winter,
you might know already that you need more than just a vacation.
You know you want to come back with more than just memories.
You need to to come home to yourself!
… with real tools to warm the winter from the inside out,
no matter how cold it is outside.
This is why I take women with me to Mexico every January.
Don’t get me wrong…
I love sand between my toes.
Sun softening my tight muscles.
Whales playing in the distance.
But I know from years of experience
that women need more than just a break.
We can’t help but lose our innate connection to joy living like we do.
Isn’t it obvious?
The feminine withers with constant productivity.
…living tethered to our lists.
…falling into bed at night, too exhausted for pleasure.
…always feeling there’s more to do and never enough time!
If this is what happens to us living in this hyper-masculine world,
what we MUST HAVE are practical tools to come home to ourselves!
We need to laugh and play and dance in these beautiful bodies,
in the company of women, seeing us in our best.
We need to remember what truly sources our pleasure,
deeper than our usual escapes.
We need to learn simple practices –– ways of being – not just doing,
that can easily be infused to lighten the daily grind back home.
BUT MOST OF ALL
we need to shift the way we think about ourselves.
And that, Dear Women, takes more than sitting in a therapist’s chair,
or reading the best self-help books,
or listening every Sunday to Oprah’s inspirations.
The shift I’m talking about takes time.
And a reframe toward beauty.
So, please, feel into yourself right now.
Is this shift what you’re most wanting?
I’ve made time in my schedule this week for one-on-one conversations.
Because that’s often what we need to get clear.
No convincing. No cajoling. We have enough of that every day.
Just real talk about how your life is going and what might help.
You can book a time here on my coaching page.
No matter what this winter holds for you,
You deserve to live your most joyous and fulfilled life.