Tag Archives: sex

Don’t Date Anyone Right Now.

heart

I’m in a generation of people who are getting married later and later.
We have careers to think about.
We have money to amass.
We have ourselves to find.
I am not arguing those are legitimate reasons.

I say there are bigger reasons not to date anyone for a season and they aren’t always the things you read about in Cosmo.

Don’t date anyone if…

-you don’t know what you love. I dated a guy for 2.5 years and the thing that ended up being the clincher was he had no idea what he loved. Sometimes you think that if you really love things, it’ll be enough when you’re linked to a person who doesn’t know what they love. But that’s not how it works. Finding out what you love requires time, space and freedom. It means allowing yourself the opportunity to be messy and try things and have them fail. Don’t expect a relationship to be what solves that for you. While a friend or love might inspire something in you, don’t doubt that there is a genuine experience to be had in you really getting in there and figuring it out for yourself.

-you’re aware of gaping wounds in your spirit. We’ve watched a lot of movies where people who are broken and down on their luck find the person of their dreams then they fall in love and live happy lives. I totally get that. I even know people who have that story as their own. What I am suggesting is that if you are aware of those wounds, don’t try and make a person a bandaid. Don’t avoid doing the hard work in your life by just finding someone to pour all your love and attention on. This other person is going to fail you. At least once. They’re going to have things you can’t fix because you aren’t a superhuman. What you do want to do is push them to be a better version of themselves. You want to put a high price on creating a healthy, safe space for relationship. So show that it is a priority by putting in the work now to address the wounds and speed bumps in your life. Don’t make a person a bandaid.

-you aren’t willing to manage your own life. You are looking for a partner- not a personal assistant, not a maid, not a foreman or your parent. So if you are looking for someone to come in and clean up your mess, then you would be better served to go on yelp and find a professional housekeeper.

So are you ready for a relationship?
Or is there good work for you to be doing in your own life?

7 Pieces for Peace on Valentine’s Day

Love: As much joy that this word promises, it also comes with its share of pain too. Love isn’t created to give any sort of troubles though. However, our attitude toward love has created a lot of havoc.
Here are my 7 norm breaking tips on making peace with love on this Valentine’s Day.
1. Don’t categorize love.
You have been taught to shower a different kind of love for different people in your life. Your spouse gets a certain kind of love, your children get another, and friends and colleagues are reserved for other varieties. Who taught you to categorize love? Society! The custodians of society will always come up with reasons to categorize love, just like they have categorized religion. Don’t use any filter in your love. Let it be equal,  transparent and pure.
2. Learn to let go.
The day must end to give night its way. The rain must fall to let the clouds have their way. The child must come out of the womb, grow up, and set on an independent journey. Letting go is the necessity in life. You cannot hold on to something in the name of love. You have had your experience with the person or situation, but now its time to let go. Be it an ex lover or a beloved who has passed away, release them all from your memory bank.
3. Express yourself.
Learn to express yourself. When love is expressed in its entirety, life is no longer a pursuit of happiness; It becomes happiness. Be it the person that you admire on Facebook or at your work place or your loved one. Take time to compliment the best thing in him or her. A well intentioned compliment finds its way into the other person’s heart.
4. Liberate your love.
It could be possible that you were insanely in love when you met your “soulmate” but now it’s also possible that you both have evolved (or devolved) to a significant extent. It is perfectly normal to bid a happy goodbye to each other when it’s time to part ways. Liberate your love from day one. Your loved one isn’t a prized possession. In liberating your love, you will find your truest self.
5. Love isn’t about others.
Your health is about yours. It’s not about others. But if you are healthy, you can help others to be healthy also. In the same fashion, love isn’t about loving others. We do that to fulfill our insecurities and loneliness. Love is about being loving. Love shouldn’t be what you are doing. Love should be what you are. If you are in state of deep love, you can have others in love too. The whole idea of loving others is a sham as it’s created to satisfy the innate needs of feeling fulfilled mentally and physically. The authentic love travels far and wide beyond such shallow needs.
6. Love is not attachment.
In fact, love is the complete opposite of attachment. Most of us are attached to the people in our lives and continue to call it love. Hence, the problems begin! In attachment, you would yearn for approval and seek happiness from others. In love, you don’t seek any approvals because you have accepted yourself the way you are. The extraction of happiness from others doesn’t happen in love. Do yourself a favor and see if you are in love or attachment with others.
7. Love, the express train.
The perfect metaphor to describe love in today’s times is that of an express train. We get on and off of the love train very often. The moment the other person doesn’t fulfill our needs, we get out of it. The moment someone starts to make us happy (even if it’s momentarily), we get on the love express train. It is tragic, to put it in one word. You have used love to channel the happiness in life but how long does  it last? You know the answer.
My job is to questions your answers. If these 7 pieces question any of your answers, then I feel accomplished.

4 Television Shows That Are Trying to Make You a Better Person

Okay, there’s a lot of crap on television these days. From “reality” shows that follow around people that are famous for simply being rich to competition elimination shows for every possible profession (there was one for America’s Next Top garbage man at one point). So much so that there are probably a lot of people rolling their eyes at this article, but the original purpose of television was to bring families together for entertainment (and to sell washing detergent, but not the point). Shows like Star Trek and The Cosby Show provided family safe entertainment while educating us about the world happening outside of our respective bubbles. Today it seems that if it has any worthy entertainment value that it is worshipping at the altar of the anti-hero (The Sopranos, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Mad Men…) and none of these are really family appropriate viewing, and for the most part they are still telling the stories of well-to-do caucasian males who have diverted from the normal path for varying reasons.

Still, in the middle of all this there are a few shows that are striving to tell new stories in interesting ways. They are getting back to the roots of old school television that strived to teach us valuable lessons about people that are different from ourselves (and that valuable lesson 99% of the time is that they aren’t different from us at all, really). With spring premieres just around the corner, I’ve compiled a list of shows that might strike your fancy or intrigue your curiosity. So get your remotes ready.

1. Orange is the New Black – (Netflix) 

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Okay, this show also falls into the category of not-family friendly, but the inspiration for this list came from a Facebook debate I had about the merit of this show. OITNB centers on Piper, an affluent white girl who hooked up with a lesbian drug lord when she was in college. Ten years later, as she’s planning her wedding to an aspiring newspaper writer in New York City, Piper finds out that her ex girlfriend gave her up and she’ll have to spend a year in prison for aiding and abetting years prior. The show starts with Piper’s first day in prison and we follow as she tries to acclimate to her new surroundings. Then the show takes a sudden turn – instead of allowing us to see the prisoners through Piper’s eyes, which would inevitably leave them painted as caricatures and stereotypes, we visit flashbacks into the past lives of each of them in each new episode. This shows gives in-depth back stories and character arcs to not only women, but women of color and various races. The most intriguing of which is played by Laverne Cox, a transgender woman who plays Sophia, transgender prisoner on the show. Some of the most gripping episodes of the show are the ones that chronicle Sophia’s transition from male firefighter and family man to fierce hairdresser. It doesn’t shortcut around the difficulties Sophia’s family faces in light of the transition, the alienation she feels as her young son struggles to accept that his father is now a woman.

This show is definitely one you want to save for after the kids have gone to bed (or when your parents are out of the room), but the rave reviews you’ve heard aren’t lying when they say you’ll get started and binge watch all 13 episodes in season 1. It’s a harsh look at the lives and stories of a population we so often ignore as part of our society. It humanizes characters that have previously been boxed in by stereotypes and tropes, and they are stories you should hear.

New episodes of OITNB return in 2014. Season 1 can be found on Netflix. 

2. Switched at Birth – ABC Family

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 10.33.16 AMTo be perfectly honest, I started watching this show expecting it to be another ABC Family guilty pleasure (like it’s predecessors Greek or Make It or Break It), but what I got thoroughly surprised me. While ABC Family has been known to get a little overly preachy and unrealistic with its family dramas (Secret Life of the American Teenager, anyone?) Switched at Birth is the story of two 15 year old girls who discover they were, well, switched at birth. One grew up in the affluent surroundings provided by her retired baseball player father (Bay) and the other grew up with a single mom on the “wrong side of the tracks” (Daphne). When the switch is revealed thanks to Bay’s high school biology assignment, the two families decide to try and raise the girls together to try and make up for lost time with each of them, and naturally conflict arrises.

What makes Switched at Birth really special though is that when Daphne was three years old she contracted meningitis that left her completely deaf. So half the show is told via sign language (with subtitles!). It gives you an inside look at the deaf community like you have never seen unless you’ve been part of that culture. Each actor had to become fluent in sign language for their parts. And last season the show made history by having an entire episode done in sign language. The show requires a whole new dimension of acting by incorporating this new language and showing the nuances of this incredible culture. And since it’s on ABC Family it definitely works for prime time family viewing.

The Switched at Birth spring premiere is January 12 at 8pm on ABC Family. 

3. The Fosters – ABC Family

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 10.34.41 AMI promise this post is not sponsored by ABC Family, and everyone I know rolls their eyes when I try to convince them of the good work this network is producing in terms of television. The Fosters premiered last summer as the #1 new cable show amongst viewers 12-34, which says a lot when you consider it’s a show about a bi-racial lesbian couple and their mix of adopted children. The groundbreaking thing about The Fosters is that it shows this family as a normal family (because it is!). But this is the first time that a gay couple has served as the primary focus of a primetime show without being the gimmick of a comedy series. Of course there have been shows like Queer as Folk and The L-Word on premium cable, but those served to show the “sexier side” of LGBTQ lifestyle, and definitely not suitable for family watching. This is a serious show about a normal family of mixed races, and the parents just happen to be two women. What.

The most striking thing about the show is how realistic the conversations they have about sexuality, prejudice and race. I got extremely emotional during the episode when Leena’s mother told Leena that she’d never be a real black woman and understand their struggles because she’s only half black. Not only did the issue hit so close to home but I had never seen a television show address it so bluntly or even attempt to address the type of politics that happen between black women over skin color. Then it was such a relief to see these two moms have real conversations with their teenagers about safe sex rather than preaching abstinence and pretending to be shocked when they find out their teenage son didn’t listen. In the wake of so many LGBTQ reforms and the crusade for marriage equality beginning to reach critical mass, The Fosters is doing a remarkable job of giving a realistic look at an LGBTQ family without any jokes, gimmicks or preachiness.

The Fosters returns January 12 at 9pm on ABC Family. 

4. Parks and Recreation – NBC

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 10.36.08 AMDisclaimer: I absolutely belong to the church of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, but it’s because they are awesome and stand for really amazing things. Parks and Rec got a bad wrap during it’s first season as being a rip off of the office. When the writing staff of the show heard that audiences thought of Leslie Knope (played by Amy) as ditzy they knew they had to make a change. Rather than changing Leslie’s core personality though, they simply changed the way that people around her reacted to her go-get-em attitude and borderline manic enthusiasm. You have probably seen more than one Ron Swanson meme or a Tom Haverford “TREAT YO SELF” gif around the internet, but make no mistake that this is a show centered on Leslie Knope and the pursuit of her dream to become the first female president.

Parks and Rec makes this list because it’s a show about team work. When discussing this show with my friends (it’s a universal favorite) the point often comes up that it is one of the few shows on television where you root for everyone. The members of the Pawnee parks department walk over coals for each other on a daily basis and in each episode all you want is for them to succeed. You have a genuine emotional love for each of them, and it mirrors the affection they have for each other. It’s a show about building people up rather than tearing them down. It’s also about empowering women and showing them in positions of authority, breaking glass ceilings and refusing to take no as an answer when it comes to achieving their dreams. Just as Leslie covers her city hall office with pictures of her female political inspirations, every ambitious, driven girl out there should carry around a picture of Leslie. Not to mention it is one of the funniest shows on the air right now, and then remember that Amy also writes and directs several of the episodes.  This show stars a woman who is doing it all about a woman who is doing it. Win.

Parks and Recreation returns for it’s 100th episode on January 7 at 8:30 PM on NBC.

What shows do you watch with your family that you think should make the list? Share with us in the comments below! 

5 Tips to Deepen Intimacy in Your Relationships

innersexyDeep connections, quality relationships – the experience of feeling seen, heard and understood brings us the greatest joy in life. Here are 5 tips to deepen intimacy in any relationship – a friendship, family or love relationship.

1. Ask for Help (sooner than you want)

Our attachments and intimacy with others are bred through our vulnerabilities.

The meeting of our vulnerabilities is the sweet spot. This is where we have the ability to truly see one another. The experience of being seen and seeing is called mirroring. Psychologically, it is the bridge of intimacy and forges a strong bond (attachment) – knowing someone else will accept and be there for you, even (especially) in your weakest moments.

Take a risk of to be vulnerable and open yourself up to share from the heart. What is happening under the surface of your life and the veneer of your persona? Tell your partner if you’re sad, afraid, hurt or emotional. Practice staying authentic and articulate about your emotional state and ask for understanding, tenderness or help.

2. Let Your Partner Take the Lead

In relationships we tend focus on ourselves and assume that our needs are more important than our partners.

Flip it. Just for this month, practice allowing your partner’s needs to take priority. What if their needs are just as (or more) important than your own?

Self-abandonment is not what I am suggesting. Assuming you have healthy boundaries, attune to what your partner wants or needs. Ask them. Let your partner take the lead. Where do they want to go to dinner? Where do they want to go on vacation? What do they want to do this weekend?

This is a Buddhist/yogic concept of expanding the definition of who you are to include the ‘other’. Widening our perception of Self to include another breeds understanding and union. Instead of using a relationship or looking at our partners as a means to meet our needs – we elevate into a selfless, giving, generous approach. Much like building a successful business or any join venture, ask:

  • “How can I help you?” 
  • “How can I give more?” 
  • “What do you need and how can I serve?”

3. Set a Daily Check in with Your Partner

Set aside 10-20 min. a day to tune in to each other in full presence (no cell phones or TV, please). A great time to do this is at night. Take 10 minutes each to reflect on the day. Listen athletically to each other and offer support or feedback. When you can manage, try to go to bed at the same time, cuddle and reflect out loud – What went well? What was disappointing or frustrating? What do you intend to create for the next day?

Practice gratitude together. Get in the habit of reflecting the positive and holding each other in positive regard so you mirror back to your partner their positive attributes. Encouragement and support changes our biochemistry. Consistency in authentic connection is the glue that keeps a relationship together. Commit to a daily check in.

4. Show Up with Fresh Eyes

See your partner anew. We evolve and change constantly. Our hopes, dreams and skills shift. When we’re in relationship, it’s tempting to view our partner through an old, outdated perspective – who they were, how they acted or what they wanted before. Give your man (or woman) the space, just like a child, to shape shift, change, learn and grow. Tune into them – ask them “Where are you at today?”  “What are you feeling/wanting/dreaming of?”

Try silently observing and allowing them to show you who they are. Open your eyes and your mind. This creates more spaciousness to feel held and supported in who we are authentically – today. Let yourself be surprised. Seek to learn something NEW about your partner everyday.

5. Breed Affection

Bring more affection into your relationship. After years of listening to couples in therapy, I can tell you – it’s often (if not, usually) the smallest things that end up fracturing and eroding a relationship. Know the little things that your partner needs, wants or delights in.

  • How can you show random acts of kindness?
  • How can you be more affectionate?
  • How can you sweetly surprise them and bring a smile to their face?

Gentle touches, thinking what they might want from the grocery store or reaching out sending them a text or a note at work in support go a long way in building a foundation and reservoir of love.

Leave a comment and share – how do you deepen intimacy in relationships with those around you?

How to Stay Married

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 2.25.43 AMHow To Stay Married,” is a web series that is actually the delicious appetizer to the book I am writing, “Take My Spouse Please: how the rules of comedy will keep your marriage happy, healthy and thriving!” (Shambhala Press, January 2015).

After one particularly tough night with my husband, huddled up on the bed hugging a pillow, I remembered something people used to say to me all the time when I was a comic, “Stand up comedy? That is the hardest thing in the world to do, I could never do that, that is the hardest thing!”

 

Wiping my tears with a pillowcase, I didn’t think so.  At least a comedy set is over in two hours, max.  Being married, now that was something you could really lose sleep over.

I decided to consult a syllabus I used to teach a course in Stand up Comedy at UCLA for almost ten years and see if any of the tools I taught people who wanted to be comics, the other hardest thing to do in the world, would help me persevere in what is genuinely the hardest thing to do, staying married.

Turns out most of the lessons were spot on.  Listening, showing up, paying attention to timing, letting go of a bad night, these were all things that could absolutely help me in my marriage.

Then I decided to also go out and talk to long term happily married people to see how they did it.   Emphasis on happily.  Anyone can stay married, but I was looking for people to learn from and who could inspire me.

“How To Stay Married,” then, is filmed excerpts of some of the couples I interviewed.  The show focuses specifically on those key challenges in every marriage of handling money, fighting fairly, having sex, and continuing to surprise each other.

These couples certainly surprised me! They also made me laugh and inspired me.  I know you are going to love them. You can watch all four videos, starting with making sex a priority right here.

Tell us what you think of Dani’s web series in the comments below and pass along to the couples you know! 

Embrace Your Sexual Fantasies for More Honest Living

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 12.22.26 PMBy Beatty Cohan, MSW, LCSW 

In my 35 years as a practicing psychotherapist and sex therapist, I have treated hundreds of men and women of all ages and stages in life– both heterosexual and homosexual– whose problems have included depression, anxiety, early child sexual abuse, addictions of every kind and relationship and sexual problems. In all those years only a handful of patients have chosen to share their sexual fantasies with me.  And in daring to do so, what they were all looking for was my reassurance that it was ok to fantasize and that their fantasies were “normal.” In retrospect, this is an area that I should have explored more thoroughly with all of my patients. And indeed, this is a topic that most of us (whether we are in therapy or not) should not be afraid to explore, as we seek to have richer and more fulfilling sex lives.

Children’s natural curiosity and their openness to the world around them allows them to have creative fantasies as they attempt to understand and make sense of the world.  As we develop and mature sexually, we all begin to fantasize about what it must feel like to fall in love, be in love, experience that first kiss and have sex. We all remember our first crush and that ‘feeling’ that gave us butterflies in our stomach. As a child I too was mesmerized by movies about love and sex and devoured romance novels and magazines, which only served to further activate my already active sexual fantasy life. As an adult, I read Nancy Friday’s book My Secret Garden which became an instant classic and one of the only books available at that time that enabled women to pursue and enjoy their sexual fantasies. These days, adolescent girls and boys, especially when talking among themselves, are very open and honest about their sex lives and sexual fantasies.

I have observed that as adults begin to form more permanent love relationships, the topic of sexual fantasies wane. In fact most adults are apt to repress their sexual fantasies as ‘life’ takes over.  And we can all attest to the fact that talking about sexual fantasies is unlikely to be dinnertime conversation among adults. And yet we all have fantasies, sexual and otherwise.

In writing this piece I want to give people permission to fully explore their deepest sexual fantasies with themselves and with their partners. I also needed to acknowledge to myself that although I have always had a rich sexual fantasy life, I too rarely shared these fantasies with anyone for fear of embarrassment.  Fortunately, today I am in a relationship where I am able to not only talk about these fantasies, but to act them out as well, if I so desire.

I encourage you to take whatever steps you need to take to free yourself mentally and sexually.   Tell yourself that from this day forward you will no longer repress, suppress, deny or avoid enjoying your sexual fantasies to the fullest as long as these fantasies aren’t acted out in a way that will be hurtful to you or others.

I wish you a successful and sexually charged fantasy life.

***

Beatty is a nationally recognized psychotherapist, sex therapist, co-author of For Better, For Worse, Forever:  Discover the Path to Lasting Love, columnist, national speaker and national radio and television expert guest.  She currently hosts a live ASK BEATTY radio show on the Progressive Radio Network in New York City and has a private practice in New York City and Sarasota, Florida.

When Too Much of a Good Thing Sours a Marriage

Wedding ringsBy: Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

When we fall in love and meet that most amazing person for us, we feel as if we have finally come to a place where we can rest. It not easy to meet the right person to spend our lives with and the search can be long, disappointing and hard. When it finally feels right, all of that disappointment is quickly erased and it feels as if it all had a purpose once we have met the one we want to settle down with. There is not a more beautiful feeling than this. What do we do then, we when we know we have met our perfect partner and over time it seems as if what we have is almost too good and things start to sour?

1) Balance Out Too Much Time Together:  Many couples who are madly in love tend to spend all their time together, not leaving any time for family, friends or other alone-time activities. They try and do all of these activities together. This must be balanced out.

2) Get Back to Friend Time:  Every person needs more than one person in their lives to have a healthy balance. Friends and family are important sources of connection and belonging and meet totally different needs than our partner. These people make our lives whole and our identities more solid. Getting feedback and interaction from many people is a great source of self-esteem.

3) Alone Time Activities: Whether it is working out, reading, taking walks, taking baths or watching TV make sure you get enough of this. Remind yourself that you can be alone and feel completely fulfilled. It is so important to maintain activities that soothe and fulfill your soul that have nothing to do with anyone but you. This reminds you of your vale, of your special qualities and that you are happy on your own.

4) Support Your Partner’s Independence: Make sure you support your partner to go out in this world to be the biggest, brightest version that they can be. We should want our partner’s to be fulfilled in all ways and not held back by the marriage. Rather the marriage should be the supportive spring board from which all success occurs.

5) Never Do For Your Partner What They Can Do for Themselves:  The best way to help your partner grow is to encourage them to handle their own life challenges. You can support your partner emotionally but do not get too enmeshed in their issues. This creates arguments and not enough separation. Life challenges us all, be there to support and encourage but not to enable.

When each partner came into the relationship they had independent lives, activities and commitments which made them fulfilled. It happens so often when we combine with someone we lose track of how we eat, how much exercise, read, and do the things which fulfilled us before.  We become one with our partner and their desires giving up essential parts of ourselves. Soon each partner misses the person the other used to be and they miss the person they used to be. It takes discipline not to lose yourself into someone else but if you want the marriage to last long term, make sure you love yourself and your partner enough to maintain your own happiness and identity.

Little life message: The sexiest thing to be to your partner is interesting, so make sure to keep your independence.

 ***

Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself and is a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication.   She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit http://www.sherriecampbellphd.com.

Babies and Spoons: How I Was Coerced into the Talk by my Kids

«I love you, mom!»I had the talk with my little ones today. The conversation caught me off guard as we sat together on the couch playing Spoons, sharing a bowl of Pirate’s Booty. As the yellow puffs started running low, my youngest daughter, glancing sideways at my son, said, “Mommy, we should get more Pirate’s Booty than him because we’re girls. And girls need to eat more than boys so our bellies can grow big and turn into babies.”

I was momentarily stunned. Realizing this theory was something she had spent time hypothesizing, I stifled a giggle, “Oh, honey, women don’t have babies from eating too much food.”

My oldest girl piped in quickly and confidently, “No, we get babies by taking pills from the doctor.”

“Who told you that?” I spun around to look at her.

“Well, no one. When you were pregnant you had a big bottle of orange pills in your bathroom and you took one every day.”

“No, those were prenatal vitamins. I took them when I was pregnant to give my body extra energy while I was growing the baby.”

“Oh,” she said, looking perplexed. ”Wait. Where DO babies come from, Mommy?”

“Yah,” echoed my youngest. “Where?”

It took me a minute to gather my thoughts (and my courage). My children are 5, 7, and 9. I’m a true believer in answering their questions honestly. Life is wrought with unknowns — there’s no need to be evasive when they ask me what a tampon is or wonder when they’ll grow pubic hair. They’re asking about their own bodies after all, so I always tell them the truth. They have every right to be absolutely comfortable in their skin suits. Plus, dispelling mystery is part of my job as a parent.

I briefly considered shooing away my 5 year old boy. But if I excluded him, I’d be implying that conception is secretive. He might think that this type of questioning is dangerous.

I don’t want to close doors on my kids. I want them coming to me FIRST. With ANYTHING. If they are not comfortable coming to me, they will inevitably turn to the internet or to friends. And I know for sure that I can parent my children better than Bing! or some tween on the playground. So I stepped up and addressed all three of them together with honesty and *restraint* — because telling the truth doesn’t mean telling ALL.

We started by talking about Nat Geo and Animal Planet, two of our favorite family channels. The kids adore animal shows and are relatively familiar with mating rituals. I explained that the animals mate to create offspring. I told them that all mammals conceive the same way, and humans are also mammals. And ultimately, our primary human function, like all mammals, is to reproduce. All of our body parts have a certain purpose, like parts in a machine.  In order to make a baby, a man and a woman need to make those parts work together.

The girls followed attentively, locking on my eyes and nodding their heads as I spoke. The little guy began spinning the spoons lying on the game table, distracted.

I quizzed, “When you think of body parts on a man and a woman, which ones are different?”

“Boys have penises. Girls have van-ginas,” said my oldest proudly. The others agreed.

“Right. And inside the bodies, men have sperm and women have eggs. Once a month, a woman’s egg drops down and a man’s sperm has a chance to fertilize it.”

“But how does the sperm get to the egg?”

“It swims. It has a tiny tail and races with a million other sperm to see who can reach the egg first. The one who gets there first gets to become the baby.” Admittedly, I hoped that the kids would be satisfied with this and we could return to playing Spoons.

“Yah, but how does the sperm GET to the egg?” No such luck.

“Well, you said yourself that men have penises and girls have vaginas, right?”

Silence. Introspection. Reaction:

“WHAT?! Daddy put his penis inside your vagina?????”

I tried but failed to contain myself. We three girls started laughing. My boy, meanwhile, really had no idea why we were hooting. He probably wasn’t ready to hear it anyway, so it was all for the best. Even though he didn’t understand the content of the message, he could still benefit from the openness of our dialogue. He took what he wanted and focused the rest of his attention on twirling spoons.

The girls, however, pummeled me with questions — Did it hurt? Did hair get up there? Do I have to do that? Because I am NOT doing that. What about twins? Does that take two penises? 

I decided to steer clear of the words “sex” and “love.”  The word “sex” is polluted by pop music and I didn’t want to confuse them by introducing the word in this context. And “love,” while an important part of relationships, has nothing to do with reproduction.  They weren’t asking about relationships, they were asking about anatomy.  So that’s where I focused our conversation.  I explained to them that the woman has to have her period before her body is ready to make babies, and it’s best that she’s married and settled first, because every baby needs two loving parents and a stable, happy home.   The rest of the questions I answered clinically.

My second daughter stated emphatically, “I’m only doing that twice. And I’ll have two babies. And THAT’S IT!”

“You can do whatever works best for you, babe,” I reassured.

“Does it hurt to get your period?”

“No, sometimes you’ll get crampy in your belly, but if you eat right and take care of your body you should feel just fine.”

“How about when the baby comes out? Does that hurt?”

“Yep,” I confirmed. ”It really hurts.”

“What does it feel like?” she probed.

“Stretching. And fire. Kind of like you’re pooping a hot cannonball.”

“I’ve had big poops like that before.”

“Well, maybe not this big. Do you want to hear the stories about when you were born?”

“YES!!!!!!!” all three shouted.

As the subject graduated from conception to birth, all three kids sat up and leaned forward, giggling and scrunching up their little faces as I colorfully wove the stories of their beginnings. It was a really lovely experience and I’m so glad it unfolded in just this way, with all of us together.

A minute later my husband strolled into the room and I said, “We just learned about the birds and the bees!” Without a word he spun on his heel and strolled back out. I guess he wasn’t ready to learn yet.

Is it Ever Okay to Cheat in a Relationship?

relationship difficultiesTo love, trust and honor yourself is the ultimate foundation for any relationship. The relationship with yourself is mirrored in the relationship with the partners that you attract into your life. Each moment we are at choice. A choice to choose love or a choice to choose fear. A choice to cheat or a choice to live with integrity. Every relationship is the opportunity to practice integrity and to live your spirituality in everyday life.

When you don’t honor what you truly feel or your deepest truth in a relationship, you cheat on yourself. This is when unfaithfulness begins. When you are in a relationship and compromise who you really are, you are cheating on yourself. When you remain in a relationship that no longer nourishes your authentic soul expression, you are cheating on yourself. When you enter into a relationship even though your intuition tells you something isn’t right, you are cheating on yourself. When you don’t honor yourself, you also cheat your partner from having all of you, as well as the opportunity to find the fullness of love that might be available for them too. When you truly trust yourself then you make choices that reflect this. You choose people that are trustworthy and able to honor you.

Start by being really honest about what you deeply want in a relationship. Then find the right person to create the commitment that most honors your unique expression as a human being on this planet. You can’t prevent yourself or your partner from having an attraction to someone else. Attraction is a natural part of life. It will happen. Energy is just energy. If you suppress that natural flow of attraction, what will often happen is that you will end up disconnecting from a part of yourself, which will in turn affect the flow of chemistry between you and your partner.

Now, how you manage that attraction to another person is what requires real integrity. Rather than simply acting out your attraction and cheating on your partner, it is important to acknowledge the feeling of attraction up front. Then you can communicate what you feel with your partner, if it’s something more than just a fleeting feeling. Before you act on your attraction with another partner whilst in a relationship with someone else ask yourself, “Is this the most loving action? What would love do? Does it really serve to have sex with this other person? Will it truly serve both me AND my partner?”.

Being spiritual is not about being perfect. No human being is perfect. Nor is it an excuse to cheat either. Being spiritual is a courageous commitment to truth, and living the deepest truth you are able to access in any given moment. As you evolve, this will grow and change as you do. Being spiritual is the willingness to take a deep look at yourself, to take responsibility and clean up whatever mistakes you might make. When you suppress your truth and compromise your heart, you betray yourself. This is the real pain.

When you communicate your authentic feelings you may find that just by allowing this non-judgmental space to share your desire, it dissolves. In communicating it can also open up the opportunity to deal with the deeper issues in the relationship. As a result facilitating deeper intimacy and healing. When you suppress and hide your feelings of attraction to others, often the energy can grow and act itself out in less than conscious ways, i.e. infidelity and secret affairs. When you cheat you dishonor yourself. When you cheat you dishonor your partner. When you cheat you dishonor love.

It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about integrity. It’s about honoring whatever agreements you made with each other. When you cheat you don’t give the other person an opportunity to choose. If you let them know how you feel up front, they at least have a choice whether to continue in relationship with you or not, rather than being there under false pretense. If you both agree to being monogamous and faithful to each other, then honor that commitment. But if it’s not your authentic truth and you are simply agreeing to what you think you should, then you are already being unfaithful to yourself and your partner.

If your agreement no longer feels true for you then honor yourself, honor your partner, honor your love by speaking the truth. Have the courage to renegotiate your commitment and find a new relationship format that allows for more love to be expressed between you both. Commit to love each moment of your relationship. Sometimes this will cause you to end a relationship. But other times it may mean you must commit more deeply to working on your relationship, even though it’s challenging. Just because you feel an attraction to someone other than your partner is not enough of a reason to act on it. Real freedom is not necessarily doing whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. This is simply to be a slave to your desires. Remember that desires are fleeting and often endless.

Real freedom is to be connected to your authentic self and making choices that are in alignment. Real freedom is a discipline of the heart. Real freedom is to sacrifice what is lesser for what is more. Real freedom is a commitment to love.

So commit to love.

Recently a woman from my MAN Breakthrough seminar asked me “Kute, would a spiritual man or woman ever be unfaithful in a relationship? And is it ever forgivable or is that a sign that perhaps the relationship is not the real deal ?” The essence of my response is below and in the video below.

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If you a ready for big love, and to transform the hidden blocks that keep you from having the love you deserve. Join me at www.themanbreakthroughexperience.com October 18th-20th. 

 

6 Quotes That Define “What is Love?”

It’s the defining quality of the universe. It’s the elusive dream. It’s our life blood. It’s…, well the definition changes with every person you ask, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from trying to quantify it. The “it” is love, of course. What does it mean to you? How do you define it? We’re looking at love in all its shapes, forms and sizes this week on Intent Blog. So we rounded up a few quotes that tried to explain what love is to get you thinking.

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Deepak Chopra likes to ask in his soul profiles, “Is the universe a noun or a verb? Are you a noun or a verb?” Why shouldn’t we ask the same question of love? Something that drives so much of humanity has to be a word of action, right?

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Why else would we go through the tribulations and difficulties of life?

Great Quotes For Love

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We don’t have another ability that is so divine – whether romantically, platonically or universally.

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Love is those who we keep closest to us.

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It’s finding joy in the smallest things.

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It’s putting someone else’s needs above your own, even if that means giving them control of the remote.

What is love to you? Share your thoughts and favorite quotes in the comments below! 

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