Reserve your intimacy for special people

Reserve your intimacy for special people

A lot of people I know have been feeling discouraged, unloved, unlovable, undesirable, and downright hopeless. They tell me they don’t understand why they keep meeting people who they have a mega spark with that then fizzles out mega quick. In the first few meetings, they talk about intense sexual and physical chemistry and how they have a ton in common. They initially feel heard and uplifted. All of a sudden, they reach “partner” status. Then they get the rug pulled out from under them and are either ghosted or told to slow down. They wonder what happened? I’ll tell you what’s happening. (more…)

The art of consent

 

I like humor and I like using it to expose absurdity or hypocrisy. I like using it to teach. When the video above was introduced to me I was crying from laughter and how much it rings true. I’ve circulated it around Facebook and I think it’s brilliant. Plus I love tea. It touches upon a rather serious practice that is foreign to many human beings. 

The idea and practice of consent was brought to the forefront of my mind when I ventured into the Sex Positive Portland world. I was looking for a space and community to explore my intimacy and sexual boundaries. I have been blown away by what I’ve been learning about and from this community. I’ve met some of the most honest, loving, compassionate, aware, conscious, vigilant, respectful, and playful people. Learning the art and practice of giving and responding to consent has been expansive for me.  (more…)

The pain of great love, great loss, and goodbye

The pain of great love, great loss, and goodbye

I’ve had several gifts bestowed onto me lately. One was the gift of goodbye. I didn’t know how valuable this gift was until I received it. I hadn’t seen or spoken to my former partner for 3 months and a few nights ago we found ourselves face to face. It was somewhat unexpected, although anticipated with fear and anxiety. I had visualized our encounter over and over in my mind in a myriad of ways: from us hugging lovingly to him ignoring me completely. My visualizations steered toward the loving encounter. At least, that is what I wished. When I saw him, I definitely panicked a little but held it together. At some point in the evening, I approached him (with his permission) and spoke to him what was in my heart. I asked him a bunch of questions and he cordially answered but it was clear to me that he did not want any kind of relationship with me. He stated as much. (more…)

Know when to care without care-giving

Know when to care without care-giving

A good friend of mine texted me last week saying she felt much better after she realized she was caring too much about the happiness of her friends. She is a worrier and experiences anxiety often. She often finds herself caring-giving for others and making vast assumptions about what people need. When her assumptions are wrong, she feels great disappointment. She made the assumption that her friend was suffering and she wanted to take care of her. I believe she felt burdened by her friend’s troubles. Turns out her buddy was fine and she decided once and for all that she would stop worrying about how others are doing. She said she would wait for someone to ask her for help if they needed it. I told her she was wise and that she would feel much better now. I also told her that she needed to stop care-giving for everyone. She responded by saying she wasn’t going to stop caring for people. (more…)

Wish you had a relationship manual?

Wish you had a relationship manual?

I’ve been doing research into the benefits of pre-marital/union/commitment counseling. I love working with couples, especially those that are in transition from “I” to the serious “we”. Divorce is a reality and although I don’t have a judgment on whether people should stay together or not, I believe that there are things to know in order to have a super connected, healthy, and joyous relationship. There are manuals for everything but not for relationships. That is changing thanks to cutting edge research and real life application by John Gottman and University of Denver Professors Howard Markman & Scott Stanley. Drs. Markman and Stanley have created pre-commitment programs for couples to help prevent divorce. For most of us, on the other hand, we learn the ins and outs of relationships from biased sources – parents, media, friends. Sorry but these are not well informed sources unless you actually know couples who are truly happy. Can you name 5 couples who are happy? Not just surface-happy or the couples who avoid conflict and intimacy to remain congenial (and bored). I mean happy, thriving, communicative, differentiated (meaning able to be autonomous and deeply connected) couples. (more…)

The Ultimate Guide to Having a Kick Ass Relationship

The Ultimate Guide to Having a Kick Ass Relationship

This is the post you’ll want to bookmark, print, & hang on your mirror where you can see it every single day.

Friends, I’m a researcher and philosopher by nature.  I get off on asking questions and stirring up discussion.  The latest inquiry – and one that goes perfectly with my way of being – has been:

What are the elements to having a kick ass relationship?

Honestly, in a world where divorce has tipped toward the norm and breakups are happening left and right (something about Saturn or Venus in retrograde), it’s a mega challenge not to feel hopeless.  A lot of times couples seek help when it’s the last straw and they’re either ridiculously motivated to change or they’re seeking permission to be out.  Unfortunately, I’ve experienced as a therapist mostly the latter. I’m all for hearing about true-to-life struggles of being in a relationship but I also need some light & stories of triumph – not only for me, but for my clients.  When couples are seeking an exit strategy, counseling becomes mediation or divorce therapy. There are a lot of therapists out there who serve as divorce therapists. I’m not one of them.

I’m an intimacy coach – I bring you closer together if and only if you have a burning desire to BE together. (more…)