What Sources Your Happiness?

Do you wonder?
I’m curious about joy.

When was the last time you were deeply happy?
Take a minute now to remember!
You can enjoy it right now, if you like.

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If you let yourself,
even the memory will bring with it a visceral feeling in your body.
Notice how joy feels.
Likely, it feels good.

That bodily connection with an experience – past or present –
is my definition of intimacy.

I’ve felt it
…each time I held my seconds-old newborn children to my breast.
…in the arms of a new beloved encircling me for the first time.
…singing a soaring soprano line of Brahms Requiem with 150 others. 

These were some of the most extraordinary moments of my life.
Surprises of delight and wonder.

But I believe this intimacy – this deep felt connection – can also be invited.
We can choose it, if we decide to,
and even make it a practice.

You see, I don’t believe spiritual practice demands a certain posture
or particular location or somber attitude.

The essence of each of us — what some call the soul
longs for a connection that is deeply intimate.

But so often we believe we’re alone, separate from what we need,
and that robs us of a connection that’s more possible that we imagine.

In fact, we need that deep connection to our joy now more than ever.
Trouble is, for most of us unless we choose otherwise,
our neural pathways are grooved to notice what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

Blame it on our fight or flight, primitive vestibular brain
or early childhood patterning
or simply our preoccupation with whatever is occupying our mind at the moment.

Our day-to-day lives have the potential to be filled with far more joy than we allow,
regardless of what else is going on.
Unfortunately most humans are so out of practice attuning to their senses
that they rarely notice what’s also there to en-joy at any moment.

There’s the crescent new moon in the western sky at dusk.
The clarian call of a particular melodic bird song you can’t ignore,
or don’t choose to.
White splashes of blossom in a greening world.

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Our connection to the natural world ignites our joy
simply because we are OF Nature, not separate observers of it.
After 500 years of belief that humans are above nature,
here to dominate and control it,
As we realize what Joanna Macy refers to as “the greening of ourselves.”
There’s a connection we can only ignore if we numb our senses to the truth…

The beauty we sense in nature helps us remember a visceral connection to joy
that always exists.
And is always possible, if we allow it.

Weekly over the past month
I’ve been sharing a 5-step sense medication practice to help you reconnect to joy. 

By pairing the mind’s focus and intention with our senses’ awareness
we invite a deeper felt sense of connection with the world around us.
Then there’s more joy in any moment we choose.

Since you’re likely inside at this moment, look out a window.
NOTICE what catches your eye. That’s step #1.

Next, step #2, ask yourself WHY.
Why did your glance go there first?
Was it the color that attracted you, or ???
The more time you give this step
the more accessible the next will be.

Now, step #3, let yourself feel how fortunate you are
to have this glimpse of beauty.
Feel the THANK YOU of gratitude emerging in you.

If you allow yourself to recognize the fullness of this truth,
…if you give yourself permission to feel amazement for your good fortune
…to have sight in the first place, to live on a planet with beauty abounding,
…to have this particular instant of exquisite sight
you may also feel a WOW in your being!
Step #4 invites awe and wonder.
Appropriate reactions when we contemplate the miracle of our existence and this moment.

Step #5 is more a result than an action you’ll need to make.
When we feel this fullness, this intimacy with anything around us
it’s hard not to be aware of the truth of our interconnectedness with everything.

In this state, we feel open and welcoming.
We sense the beauty and connection with others and our surroundings.
We enjoy our differences and an interdependence that feels deeply intimate.

This sense of awe can feel numinous and quiet.
Or its very visceral power can drop us to our knees.

But as body and being unite,
we remember our connection to All That Is and feel whole again,
engaging our natural desire to reach out to help others.
The connection is so full it might be called Oneness… or Love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Have you missed REALLY sensing your feminine self?

Today, mother or not, 
it’s easy to forget that we live in bodies built for pleasure.

You see, Western culture teaches us to idolize the mind…
Still does. 
Without honoring the balance that the feminine brings 
physical pleasure has been turned into a shadow perversion
most women naturally distain.
So we learn to ignore our senses and mistrust our pleasures.

Our cultural ethos says,
“If we know enough we’ll feel safe.”

Only, I’m sure you’ve noticed…
though it’s vital to our safety,
all that information isn’t bringing us more happiness and contentment.

https://youtu.be/7_dgXcw1Ymg
Here’s a one-minute practice to help you FEEL more of that.

What we need and crave, 
especially during this COVID time,
is connection.

Question is…
where do you find more connection when socially distancing is insisting you have less?

Seeing folks on Zoom has been a help for some.
Last week my family virtually celebrated my son’s college graduation.
The connection was so precious, none of us wanted to end the call.
I was super grateful for Zoom!

But perhaps with all the virtual focus
— and our mind’s preoccupation with trying to make sense of it all —
we’ve numbed ourselves to the connection and pleasure that is ALWAYS available,
pandemic or not.

We have 5 senses and a most exquisite world to enjoy more than we do,
to even viscerally feel a tingly sense of awe and wonder.
(step #4 in this week’s sense meditation practice in my vlog).

Unless we’ve forgotten how to notice.
Unless we’ve let our senses atrophy.
Unless we’ve devalued the joys of living in a body,
Unless we’ve diminished our feminine capacity to receive
— instead overdoing, overthinking, overgiving.

My mission, Dears, is to help us remember who we are
as women, yes, but as humans! 

We are mind and body.
Head and heart.
Doing and being.
Remembering to give yourself balance is the hard part!

We’ve been celebrating motherhood today,
but the primal, elemental experience of being a woman
isn’t limited to birthing and succling.

We are built for intimacy with our bodies,
and an innate capacity to connect on a deeper level 
with everyone and everything we draw to ourselves.   

The work I do as a spiritual counselor and intimacy coach
is to help folks delve beneath the mind’s preoccupations
— and the stories and compensations we create to manage life’s suffering —
to reconnect to what is also true.
Always true.
And always there to help us feel safe and alive again.

I love this quote by Yeats, 
“The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Connecting to our senses
brings us back to a place of connection with a deeper sense of ourselves
and everything around us…
back to this place of home and steadiness
and a visceral knowing that we can trust all that is always here to support us.

No matter what’s going on in our world
— right here, right now, always —
we have the support we need to manage and to thrive.

Take on this practice, if you like.
And watch the precipitous escalation of your joy.
Isn’t that what we need now, more than ever???

How intimate are you with YOURSELF?

When you hear the word intimacy, what comes to mind?

…uh, right!
And likely there’s somebody else in the picture, too.

But this week I’ll be talking and teaching about…
intimacy with YOURSELF.

If you’re reading this in late March 2019 you can catch me and the brilliant Martine Florus THIS WEDNESDAY in Great Barrington and SUNDAY Live on my DiviningBeauties private FB group for practical and powerful ways to

  • shift body and soul struggle  
  • release your life-force energy — aka shakti
  • deepen intimacy with all the beautiful aspects of yourself.

I’ve enticed Martine to leave her luscious life in Hawaii
(for our snowy Berkshire spring!)
because we both agree…

and I’m sure you’ve noticed…

When you’re feeling most fully alive
— with or without someone else in your bed —
it’s because you’re intimate with yourself.

Right?

You pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
You honor your emotions and your boundaries.
You ask for what you want and need.

Well… that’s what we do on a good day!

I hope you were luckier than I was though.
No one taught me that my body deserved to be listened to!
Or that my intuition — and my happiness — depended on that connection.

My journey back to myself began over a decade ago when Martine and I met.
We were in Hawaii studying life-force energy and how to deepen intimacy with Caroline Muir and the Divine Feminine Awakened Masculine Institute.

That month I learned what has guided me since…
that success in any intimate relationship with another – and in life
is dependent on the quality of my relationship with myself.

I have to say that again!
The success in any intimate relationship with another – and in life
is dependent on the quality of my relationship with myself. 

That moment launched the work I do today with women across the globe to this day.

Over years Martine and I have translated the tools we learned so long ago
to our own unique way of helping women come back to their innate ease and aliveness.
We’ve found that no matter their age or life circumstance,
that feeling of aliveness is always there inside.
Helping people release what blocks it is our work and joy.

So if you’re local —
come join Martine Florus and me on Wednesday, March 27 at Sruti Yoga
for an evening of practical hands-on exercises using presence, awareness, pressure and movement to discharge long-held mental and physical restrictions.

You will be amazed at how your body and psyche work together to heal one another.
Find out more and register here.
But you don’t live in the Berkshires?
Martine and I will be live on my 
Divining Beauties private FB group the following Sunday evening, March 31st at 7PM. 
Click here to request to join the group for this free 45-minute class with us. 
 
The work Martine and I do has evolved over the years to mirror one another’s.
We’ve incorporated past studies of the human body and its energy centers
and a unique combination of our own teachings
that help women feel safe, grounded, and courageous enough to dive deep and transform old beliefs and patterns.
They say they feel freer, more open, and happier as a result.

Martine will share practices from the 4-dimensional perspective. These enable women to open up more space in their bodies, allowing more of their authentic potential to surface.

Together Martine and I will offer practical body-based experiences and suggestions to help you shift the energy of your beliefs into balance with your physical expression so you can access your true nature to live fully empowered and alive in joy, love, and ecstasy.

Do not miss this chance to experience a rare and powerful work with experienced and generous teachers. 
Register here for Wednesday evening’s event at Sruti.
For Sunday evening’s FB Live teaching on Mary’s DiviningBeauties private group
click here
 to request to join.

This is what we want, right, Friend?
To deepen a real embodied and intimate love affair with ourselves.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts,
so share them down below!!!

I’m so grateful to be walking this path with you.
AND PS.. On Sunday evening in my FB DiviningBeauties group I’ll be announcing my upcoming Jade Egg class… both local and on-line. It’s been 3 years since I’ve taught this practice anywhere except in my retreats… so if you’re one of the many women who’ve been asking all these years… and you register that night I’ll take $50 off. Come join me Sunday night.

Announcing My New Video on My Homepage!

 

Everywhere women are served up messages that say we’re on the downhill slope of life past 40.

Did you watch my video above to hear why that’s such a LIE?

When we believe that deception we fork over our time, money, and power just to try to feel good enough.

Somewhere deep inside — when you really listen — you’ve lived enough life to know what’s true.
Because that illusive happiness never lasts!

The truth is simple…
Every woman is a channel of divine love. 
It’s remembering that truth and living it that isn’t easy!!!

If you’d like to know — once and for all — how to live in what’s true AND possible, let’s talk.

I’ve just opened 5 spots on my calendar this week for conversations with 5 women who want more.

We’ll begin to discover what’s been secretly sabotaging your fullest joy, greatest wisdom, and deepest connection AND create a custom plan to reunite you with your divine essence that will bring real happiness — and act as a magnet to draw resources and people to you.

All in just 55 minutes. And for $49. That’s one fifth the usual cost of an hour’s work with me.

But I’m only offering this to women who are serious about their joy…and book a time today.

I know every woman alive can live her fullest life!
— no matter her circumstance, relationship, or fears!

I can’t wait to dive in with you, Dear Woman.

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Are you still secretly hiding a dark side on this darkest of days?

Did you think a boogie man hid under your bed when you were 4 years old, Dear Friend?

Every child imagines something terrifying in the dark.

For me it wasn’t the bed though,

it was the basement!

 

As a kid I was told to go fetch my mother’s canned tomatoes.

But I hated to go down in our basement!

I’m not sure what I thought might be hiding in the dark,

But even after I’d flipped the light switch,

I was still a little scared of what might be lurking in the shadows.

 

As I grew into my teens

it was my brain that helped the panic.

Probability and logic got me past the fear.

I’d straighten myself up, stand firm on the top step,

and muster every bit of my courage, reminding myself…

There’s really almost no chance that a serial killer is down there waiting for you!!

You can do this!

 

I’m wondering if that’s the way we humans are.

Afraid of what might be lurking in the darkness.

 

Is that why you keep so crazy busy in these darker days?

Why you make sure the lights stay on and the music keeps playing?

And why this season is so hard for many of us?

 

Stopping to ponder what’s really going on in the dark, deep inside, 

can feel as viscerally terrifying as that boogie man was when we were young.

Our bodies remember the terror and still grip around it.

 

But I’ve found that it’s only digging deep to see what’s real that de-fangs the fear.

Every time.

 

I may not like what I find when I ask questions like…

what old habit is holding me back?

what is crying out for change?

what wants my gentle compassion?

 

But looking straight on clears away the fog.

Then I can see a path forward into the light.

 

You see, fears live in the imagination 

– in what might happen in the future.

It’s the mind that takes us there,

but it’s also in-sight-ful, compassionate, embodied inquiry that finds the truth 

and illuminates the path forward.

 

I hope you’ll let this solstice time be your invitation to go deeper.

Here are my first and second very specific blogs from earlier this month
to help guide you on your solstice deep dive.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have a wise guide over the past ten years

to help me peak under the proverbial bed.

I couldn’t have done this deep work on my own.

 

But with her beside me,

when we lifted the covers together

the little 4-year-old girl that still lives inside me felt safe enough to take a good look,

and the scary monster I feared was nowhere to be found.

 

And that is what I am offering to you today 

Will you let me hold your hand as we bring light to your dark places?

 

Because going it alone is terrifying.

It the reason we start and stop and don’t have much success.

But having a professional ghostbuster by your side make everything possible.

 

What I know to be true in the marrow of my bones 

is that fears that stays hidden will devour the best life you were born to live.

 

So if you’re ready to move into your joy, 

to feel the weight of years of worry lift from your shoulders once and for all,

Let’s talk.  

Click here to reserve a private Discovery Session with me. 

and in 30 minutes we will do ONE vital thing:

 

We will discover what is holding you back in the dark recesses of your worries and doubt,

and then we will create a path forward into the light you have always been.

 

Some people use this session to rekindle optimism, hope or romance.

Others use it to feel the love they’ve secretly longed for, for years.

But everyone leaves feeling lighter and more capable than they ever imagined was possible.

I know because it’s been my path.
And it can be yours, too.

I promise.


2 Keys to Every Transformation and 3 Ways to Make it Happen Over the Next 13 Weeks

suzanne-d-williams-794133-unsplashTransform… really?
Does your cynic scoff as much as mine at that overused word?
Can anything really change that much in just 13-weeks?

Celtic legend says that seeds do.
They rest in the dark for an entire season
Before stirring beneath the soil for their triumphant blossoming.
Imagine having an entire season to rest!

Winter is that season in the natural world.
We’ve been given 13 weeks of percolation
to take us from Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox in March.
From longest night and shortest day to light harmonizing in time.
And it all begins next Friday evening.

But rest?!? Really?

The only way to let the dark time transform us
is to take matters into our own hands, Dear Ones.

In my last blog I suggested a very practical process
for creating a few precious minutes in this dark time for the next 13-weeks’ intentions.

One season isn’t much time really.
Or is it?
It’s enough for a seed to go from invisible to revealing its stunning beauty.

You see, every seed — and every artist of life,
no matter their medium —
must align with the natural forces that govern substantive transformation.

Creative flow can only happen if it’s held by some sort of structure.

If you know me even a little
You know that I’ve been rebelling against structure for most of my life.
Because it came packaged as rigid and punitive discipline.
Not really joy’s style.

Thankfully, fairly recently I’ve gotten a whole new take on structure…
(I’ll be sharing WAY more about that in the New Year, so stay tuned!)
And my life is flourishing as a result.

What I now know is
that it’s structure that holds the life of transformation I’m loving living!

See if this applies to you…

There are 2 kinds of structure absolutely essential for a seed to blossom
or a human to live a happy and satisfying life of beauty and artistry.

Obviously, the right circumstances or tools must be there
water and sunshine
paintbrush and canvas
pen and paper (or computer!)
inspiration and ideas

But something else is essential or nothing will really happen.

Every delicious creation reveals itself in structured time.
And showing up in time is what allows the creative process to be birthed.

So here is query #2 for your solstice season…
What tools do you need to let your next creative transformation happen?
And what sort of structure will you create to hold you in time

I invite you to use the next 13 weeks to bloom yourself into your next gorgeous revelation.

Dream into something you really want now…
(check out blog #1 for a bit of guidance) 

And then, over the next few weeks,
create a scaleable plan to allow for its inevitable growth.
This is how you make your desire — and your joyous life — real!

This dark time is made for inner exploration.
But that potent opportunity is only available if you make it happen in time.
I’d hate for you to fritter it away consumed by the season’s parties and busyness.
Your own precious life’s potential is too promising to waste.

I leave you with this question…
How will you value your fully-lived life enough right now to create a structure to hold its Springtime blossoming? 

Enjoy the quiet quest, Dear Loves!!!

PS… If you’d like a hand to hold for a season of transformation, here are 3 ways to be transformed in the next 13 weeks. Which one sounds more like you?1. Spend a season of intentionally structured time with me. Drop whatever’s standing in the way of the life you want and claim the joy and fulfillment that’s been waiting for you all along. 

2. Come with me to Haramara January 26-February 2. Because my retreat sold out in October (YIPPEE!), I’ve been given another casita and a dorm space if I want them. Is a Mexican deep dive into awakening the long-denied pleasures of body and soul calling, Sister?

3. AND if your desire is for more, I have one spot available in 2019 for a year’s pleasure exploration with me. Private. In-person, on line, (or both). Uniquely curated. My life’s worth of learnings, just for you. Hmmmm. Imagine!

If you’re not sure which one is you, click here to book a 15 minute convo with me.

What’s waiting for you in this darkness?

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It’s almost the solstice… the darkest time of the year.

Over the thousands of years before electricity made us forget what darkness gave, most folks weren’t going to twinkling holiday parties in mid-December.

Instead it’s likely they used this darkening time to rest, to take stock.
How was the harvest this year?
What grew well, and what should I do differently next spring year?

So many years later,
no matter how modern and productive we may be,
the season’s darkness is here
to do its work in us.

All those lights make it easy to avoid though.
I’m so busy, busy, busy during the holidays.
Not you, too, Kristin!?

The bah humbugs are bound to take over.
And all these flickering lights and ho ho ho’s just make it more intense.

Years ago I called my brand of late autumn struggle seasonal affective disorder.
And it’s true that sunshine helps.

But I’m discovering that there’s clarity waiting in the dark.

What if we haven’t evolved so far as we think.
What if, like our ancestors,
what we need most right now is time to take the year in?

To look back.
To be quiet.
To listen to our inner knowing.
To decide what needs to shift
so we’re ready for Spring and what wants to bloom.

Since the solstice is this Friday, here’s the question I’m asking now…
Where do I want to be 13 weeks from now?
How do I want to feel when Spring arrives this March?

Lately I’ve begun to ponder and plan my work and life over the 13 weeks of each season.
Instead of the pressure of a New Year’s resolution,
Before each equinox and solstice
I give myself the following powerful inquiry.

I create space for these precious few weeks of dark time to feed me.
Maybe I’ll find a few moments as the morning’s late sun begins to rise,
or I’ll make space just as it’s beginning to go dark outside.

I bring my journal,
light a candle,
And just sit, gazing out the window for a bit.

Then I ask into the darkness…

What change wants to come?
What’s begun that I want to feed?
What needs to drop away so I can live my joy?
What do I most want my life to feel like on the Spring equinox in March?

I wait. . . until the answers find me.

This is the time to make yourself the priority you need to be in order to move with purpose and joy into what’s really your deepest desire for the new year.

What if you gave yourself the gift of quiet darkness over the next few weeks?

Or, if you’d like, I can help.

If you’ve been doubting your light, Dear One,
I want to hold a candle to help light your way.
It’s not my candle though. It’s yours.
Together let’s reignite what’s always been within you.

You, too? A channel for Love

I was a young mother, finally taking a nap after hosting a big New Year’s Eve party the night before. As my head was sinking into the pillow I caught sight, AGAIN, of the dead branches on a ficus tree near the window.

Damn it!
I was going to get rid of that ugly thing!

In all the chaos of my wild life with a 3 and 6 year old
remembering to water the poor tree had been WAY down on my list,
for way too long.

But as I drifted off to sleep
The tree began to speak to me.
       (WAIT… don’t leave yet!)

“I know I’m ugly.
I know you want me out of here.
But I have something I want to tell you.I’m only here to love you.
I’m just a channel for Love.And not just me.
Everything is here to love you.

Every bald of grass, every cloud.
Every rock and plant and breath of air.
It’s all here to love you.

We’re all just love, being what we are, for you.”

OK, I know!
I’m as hard boiled as the next person.
And I’m not one of those people who remembers her dreams.
But this one has never left me.Because if every blade of grass and leaf and cloud
is here to love,
— just by being grass or leaves or even clouds —
then so am I.I must be here to love, too.
To be a channel of Love.
Love expressing through the uniqueness of me.

Only some days I forget!
Some days my channel of love gets all gummed up.
Then every cell in my body feel tight.
I’m full of doubts or overwhelm,
afraid… or worried… or stuck in some old story of my not enough-ness.

But sometimes, somehow, I do remember.

It can happen when I’m out walking in the woods.
Or holding a newborn.
Or dancing.
Or just sitting quietly, taking a breath.
Then that channel of Love that I am somehow gets clearer.

I’m sure you’ve felt it, too, Friend.
There’s a sense of spacious centeredness bubbling up through you.
Or joy you didn’t expect.
Or just a gentle sweet feeling of safety and belonging.

That’s when I can be patient
remembering that my friend is doing the best she can.
Or generous when I’m cut off
knowing that guy’s probably having a really hard day.

On days like that
I know it’s all just Love.
That the grass and leaves and clouds and all of us
Are Love, being Us.

The trick, though, is remembering!

And what stands in the way every time
are all the habits and beliefs we’ve built since childhood to try to keep safe
— or that’s what we think.
(more on that next week)

Clearing Love’s channel
means investigating the muck that’s still there.
It means being curious about what I still do
to try to compensate for having not gotten the love I needed way back when.
This is the work of evolving.
It’s how we awaken to remembering what is really true!

This is the awakening so many of us are doing these days.
It’s what keeps me hopeful in the face of such much tragedy and darkness.

And it’s what I do with my clients every day,
whether we’re talking about relationships or sex or whatever else.
The work is just remembering the Love we really are
And walking back home together.
.

So… do you want to know the end of the story?
What happened after my dream with the ficus tree?

Well…
5 days later Love did its thing
And we conceived our third child.

Forever sharing Love,

PS…If you’re curious about exploring remembering the Love that you are more often, I invite you to come schedule a chat. My treat. Let’s walk back home together.

The Both/And Life

I’m waking this morning holding so much.

My January retreat in Mexico is sold out! (or almost)
That was huge news for me.
It was the blog I’d scheduled for this morning.

But then on Thanksgiving day my dear friend Ditte took her last breath.

How can I hold both?
How can I feel it all?

I’ve been with Ditte much of the past week,
in the hospital and then at home.
Holding space. Waiting.
And then on the day America reserves for giving thanks,
Sharing the honor of holding hands with her family
in reverent thanks, to clean and anoint her body.

This morning I’m living with the sweetness of our long friendship.
Our sisterhood over the successes and disappointments of shared projects.
Our children’s struggles and their happy successes.
So much deep feeling and love.

And in this luminous time beyond time
— almost incongruently —
I have this happy news to share.
Last year filling my retreat was a struggle… yet Ditte was able to be there!
But now it’s sold out, (or was until earlier this week when one woman needed to cancel. Somehow I don’t feel the least worried.)

Here’s what I’m getting…
Life gives us this opportunity to feel it all – all at the same time!
We get to have the highs and the lows.
I’m calling this a blessed both/and life.

I don’t want to numb out all that I’m feeling right now.
I know that numbing part of it will diminish the rest.
I want to feel it all.
Every moment.

Today I’ll be saying my last goodbyes to Ditte.
There will be more tears.
And at the same moment her home will be filled with such love!
All of us celebrating her life…
and the transforming power of love to help us feel all that connects us.

Ditte will help me remember
why I believe we must go deep in our connection to our bodies AND our deep heart.
Because all of it is here for us to taste.
There’s no way to separate body and heart…
or much of anything else that’s here to help us be fully human.

It’s connection that we all long for.
Connection with the joys and sadness of living in a body on this beautiful earth.
It’s our connections that make life this precious.

This morning I will let the rain touch me.
I will let the sweetness of my morning chai comfort me.
I will let the arms of friends encircle me.
And I will be so grateful to be feeling it all.

Thank you for being there with me, Dear Ones!

PS — If that spot at my retreat in January is calling you (or one of the two more that Haramara just offered me), check out the details or reach out to me. I’d be so happy to have you come along!

Do you know the difference between sex and sensuality?

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.

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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:

  • Remarkably lowered stress along with feeling calm, centered, and joyful
  • Greater mental and physical energy and vitality
  • Easier weight loss, more self respect, love, and compassion
  • A mind that looks for pleasure instead of struggle
  • More enjoyable sex (yep-sex is a sensual pleasure also)

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Ask yourself: 
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.

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What will you come back with?

  • Relief! A renewed connection with self and your intuition.
  • A new joy in living in your body, no matter its size or shape.
  • A more thorough knowledge of your body’s pleasure pathways.
  • Practices that revitalize and sustain you.
  • A kinder, gentler way of relating to yourself and your body.
  • The ability to find pleasure and connect to your sensuality when you most need it.

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!

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“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.

Get all the details here.

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,
marysig

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.