Fears, Needs, Desires, Assumptions

If you were sitting where I'm sitting right now, you'd be in bed with me, looking out of a window at a luscious green tree against a clear blue sky filled with sunlight, listening to birds chirp, and feeling the heat of the rays spill in through the window and across the bed...I forget that I'm in Brooklyn sometimes. It's moments like this that have me feeling intimacy with myself, which serves how I show up to hold space around intimacy for others. 

As an intimacy coach, I get to talk to people all the time about their relationships (romantic and non), their sex lives (or lack thereof), what brings them pleasure, their fears, etc. 

What I've noticed is that all the people I've spoken with have a strong desire to get to the bottom what's "not working" in order to create workability in their relationships (to self and others), they just seem to get stuck somewhere.

Coincidentally (or not), the "getting stuck" usually happens at the same place: trying to figure out how they feel, what they want, and how to communicate it. 

Many of us dream up scenarios of what love could look and feel like. Some of us may have a goal or intended outcome in mind around our "perfect" partner, or the ideal kind of relationship to have with a parent, sibling, child, etc. 

So what stops us from creating all of that right now? 

I don't have a definitive answer, however, I can say I've observed a few things that get in the way:

  • Living in a place of fear and/or not acknowledging underlying fears that operate in the background

  • Lack of clarity/communication about one's needs (foundational needs that would have one feeling safe)

  • Lack of clarity around desires and/or a sole focus on desire as the "answer to everything"

  • Lack of awareness around assumptions being made about self, other, and the relationship 


If you know me at all, then you might know that I LOVE providing easy formats and templates for people to use. So, ya ready? Here it is:

  • Fears

  • Needs

  • Desires

  • Assumptions 


I've shared this with countless people as an easy way to journal/reflect on a particular scenario/relationship. 

  • What is it you fear? (list them all out and be really honest)!

  • What is it you need? (what are your basic needs that must be met in order for the relationship to thrive)?

  • What are you desires? (what would you like to create in the relationship)?

  • What are your assumptions? (what assumptions might you have about yourself, the other, the relationship, i.e. what do you think you already have the answer to without ever having asked the question)?


That's it! Simple, right?! 

Not only can this format help you create clarity, it can also provide a clear message that you're able to share with others without going off on tangents about past events, self-deprecation, blame, etc. 

I invite you to give it try. You may decide to keep the information to yourself, you may decide to share it. Whatever you choose, I hope that it supports you in creating more workability and joy in your relationships.

I've been scared sh*tless to say this

Yo. Hey. Hiya. How are ya?!


I really wish you could see my expression right now: I'm pursing my lips, nodding my head, raising my eyebrows, and pacing around with my hands held behind my back as if I have everything "under control."


Hah! What a farse! I have way less under control than it appears; isn't that how we're all walking around? 


In fact, are we not all walking around scared shitless that someone is going to see right through us, see us at our core, see us for who we really are...then reject us or take away their love? 


So what do we do to avoid having that happen? We hide. We cover ourselves up by throwing on emotional armor. This emotional armor looks a little different for each person, the way a family crest on actual armor would look different for each family (cue scene from Game of Thrones). :p


Here's how my armor usually appears...it doesn't. This can be the trickiest armor of all - the kind that seems as if it's non-existent, yet is there creating an invisible barrier to deep intimacy and true connection. 


My closest friends and family have been noticing my armor lately...and they've called me out on it; thank God! 


They've asked me: "What are you so afraid of by putting yourself out there, by sharing your message with the world? Are you afraid of failing? Are you afraid of looking a certain way? What's there for you?"


Well folks, here it is: I've been scared out of my mind to really put myself out there - to share my message unapologetically and often, to be seen on video, to post consistently, etc. 


Why?


If I really put myself out there and it doesn't go "according to plan" (whatever that means), they I've really "failed" (whatever that means). Now that I'm typing this, it seems a bit ridiculous, but this is really what happens in our brains. I invite you to take a peek and see where this might be happening for you - the undefined "failures" that may not exist if you actually try to define them.


Here's what I want to share:I am feeling deeply called right now to guide people toward deeper intimacy with self and others, with a special focus on guiding women toward radical self-expression and sexual freedom. (Know any women that would benefit from this type of work? Send them my way)!


There, I said it! That's my charge...and it's okay if that morphs and shifts and changes over time. None of this is static or set in stone. I say this as much for myself as I do for you. We are ever-changing beings. While focus is important, so too is following your excitement and good-feeling sensations in the body. And right now, I'm feeling mighty excited! 


What are you feeling excited about today or in general? Can you create some time to do more of that thing or be with that person or experience more often? 


How would the trajectory of your day, week, month, year, life, shift if you allowed yourself to follow the good-feeling feelings? (The sensations in the body that let you know you're in alignment with joy, happiness, abundance, and bliss).


I'll leave ya with all that juiciness. ❤️

Is it wrong to...?

I'm coming to you inspired, refreshed, and tan as heck on this Monday! 😄

I just returned from a 5-day wellness retreat for women entrepreneurs (WE), thanks to my coach, Paulina Lopez, founder of the Business of WE


During this retreat, I had the great pleasure and honor to facilitate beachfront sessions each morning, which incorporated meditation, breath work, yoga, and you guessed it: deep work around intimacy!

I got to witness women connect to parts of themselves that they've be longing to remember. I got to hold space for women to have massive breakthroughs, and I got to participate in conversation that allowed women to create clear action steps so they can stay accountable for their growth in these areas. I also got to be one of these women. ❤️ 


While I could share the stories of countless impactful conversations, one really stood out to me. 


One woman asked: "Lee, is it wrong that when I fantasize, I think about being with two men other than my husband?" My immediate question back was: "At the same time?!" (I was secretly hoping she'd say yes :p). 


After I reeled myself in and we had a good laugh, I sat with her question. Some time later, I said to her: "Tell me what you mean by wrong?" She immediately saw where I was going with this. I shared my belief that there is no "right" or "wrong," there's only what feels "in alignment" or "out of alignment." (Note:  In this conversation, I am not addressing the agreement that she and her husband made around their marriage, I'm simply asking questions about what feels internally aligned for her). 


I then said, what if we replace your original question with "Do I feel pleasure when I have this thought?" or "Do I feel joy when I have this thought?" Her face lit up with realization and an already knowing of her answer. 


As I felt this resonance in her, she acknowledged that our natural state as humans is a state of bliss. Our bodies will naturally seek pleasure, bliss, happiness and joy, even though we've been conditioned to pile on the fear and doubt. 


I shared that the feeling of authentic joy is the path led by our hearts. Following this feeling gives us information about who we are at our core. 


Many times, we find ourselves doing things because "we should be" or because "so and so is doing it" or because "we're at the age to..." blah blah blah. 


Yet, we already have the answers to the questions we seek around what will have us fulfilling our highest, truest purpose. 


Sure, the answers our hearts have for us may not be the "popular" ones all the time, yet, I suspect that they will be the ones that have us feeling the happiest and most fulfilled. 


With that, I ask YOU, beautiful person reading this email: 

  • Where in your life have you created judgement: a "right/wrong" or "should/shouldn't" scenario?

  • Have you been asking questions like: "what brings me most joy?"

  • What kinds of signs has your body given you about the dreams/desires you've put on layaway?

  • What, if anything, has slowed you down or stopped you from taking action on the things you know bring you most joy? 


These questions surely ain't for the faint of heart, yet, they're necessary for following your heart. 

Chill Motherf*cker. Let that Sh*t Go!

I really wish you could hear the tone in my head when I create some of these posts, especially this one. (Hint: it's very playful). 

I realize that some of my messaging may strike a chord...good! 

If it does, I invite you to sit with that feeling.

If it doesn't, maybe you're just as whacky as I am. 😛

Either way, I hope these posts inspire some thought, feeling, and a good laugh. 

---

This past week, I've been pondering on letting things be what they are, both in general, and in relationship.

Man oh man, has life been so much more easeful!


It's this inquiry that inspired the subject for this post: "Chill, mother*cker. Let that sh*t go!"


In the past week, I've felt: joyful, fearful, excited, vulnerable, energetic, frustrated, powerful, stressed, optimistic...just to name a few. 


Humor me for a second. Think back on the past week. What are some of the emotions you felt? (Refer to this handy dandy emotion wheel for ideas). 


How often do you find dissatisfaction in feeling a certain way, then try to turn that feeling into something else, something it's not? 


It's okay if the answer is "always" or "often." That was the answer for me too. 


When I realized I could let fear be what it is: fear, it freed me up to see the choice I have in how I want to relate to said feelings of fear. We can create this kind of acceptance with any emotion.  


In other words, instead of feeling fear, not liking it, and forcing it to play "dress up," attempting to make it over into something else (i.e. courage, joy, etc.), I ask myself what I want to do with this feeling: Do I want to explore it? Do I want to feel it more deeply? Do I want to allow it to diffuse? Something else?


The nuance here is in acknowledging what emotions are coming up and getting curious about them. Sometimes they change form all on their own!


For example, I experienced feelings of vulnerability in a recent interaction. Shortly after pulling away from the person because I felt some degree discomfort in the thought of really being seen, I said: "Hey I'm feeling vulnerable right now, I just want to acknowledge that." 


Presto chango! 


All I did was state what was so for me. I didn't try to turn my feelings into something else or over explain why they were there. The feelings got to be what they were. As a result, I got to build intimacy with myself and this other person. And, low and behold, the feeling of discomfort continued for a bit, then diffused. 


The point I'm trying to make is that this is possible for you, too! But maybe you already knew this?!


The language is simple. "I'm feeling ______." or "I'm experiencing _____." 


Say the words and see what happens. There's nothing else to do and no more effort needed. 


Then of course contact me and let me know how it went! 😛  

Unf*ck Your Intimate Connections

Howdy from Austin, Texas! 


Over the past week, I've had the great fortune of spending time in nature: hiking the Austin trails and jumping into cold-water creeks, attending SXSW events and parties, and spending quality time with dear friends. 


I've had the chance to deepen intimacy with these friends through conversation, exploring topics like: freedom, sexuality, trauma, pleasure, relationships, and so much more. 


On Saturday morning, while getting ready to attend the SXSW Health and Wellness Expo, I sat on the ground tying my shoelaces when a thought and sensation washed over me. I asked myself: "how often do I truly receive love from others when they offer it to me?" 


Sure, I may say "thank you" after someone compliments me, or allow myself to be briefly held in someones arms as they hug me, but what percentage of the time do I really internalize how much and how deeply I am loved? Have you ever wondered this? 


In that moment, I felt what being loved FEELS like (beyond the intellectual knowing of it). 


I realized that this is something that requires practice...at least for me it does. I'm unlearning the old, outdated "strategies" of deflecting compliments, avoiding emotion, and minimizing love from myself and others.


Sometimes this is easier said than done. Don't worry though, I got you covered. I wrote an ebook and I want to send you your very own special copy! Will you receive my love, please? <3 (sign up via the popup on my site or email me and I’ll send you a copy).


The ebook is called "Unf*ck Your Intimate Connections: 5 Keys to Deeper Relationships and More Emotionally-Compelling Sex."


My intention in creating this content is to share simple, actionable ways to build and deepen intimacy. I cover topics like boundaries, self-care, self-pleasure, and more! I trust there's something here for everyone and for every type of relationship, including romantic partners, family members, friends, and colleagues. 


I invite you to take peek. Actually, I invite you to read the whole damn thing! 


I believe that everyone deserves access to this knowledge and a chance to remember that we already contain this wisdom within. 

Courage in Communication: Building Intimacy through Conversation

I'm grateful to be starting the week with a dose of clarity. Over the weekend, I got to have some very 'sexy' conversations that created a space for open communication and deeper intimacy with loved ones. Note: the conversations weren't sexually arousing in the slightest, I was talking to my parents after all. :p

On Saturday, I had an extensive conversation with each of them about the work I do. They've had many questions and curiosities over the past few months and they've undoubtedly had some concerns as well. 

After some miscommunication about content I've been posting and information I've been sharing in a public forum, we got to create clarity and dive deep into talking about WHY I became an Intimacy Coach and what fuels my passion for this work.

In these conversations, I was faced with confronting feelings of judgement, discomfort, shame, defensiveness, and so much more. Without consciously knowing what I was doing in the moment, I looked back and realized that I had embodied courage and vulnerability in conversation with them, which led to connection, understanding, intimacy, and love. 

What the hell does any of that mean, anyway? 

I've recorded a video that shares my process for how to tap into courage and vulnerability in real time! Below is a cliff notes version...but watch the video, I expand on all of this and give helpful examples of how to navigate each part of the process.

  1.  Become aware of automatic thoughts - they are NOT us

  2. Become aware of sensations in the body (without judging them)

  3. Take a deep breath

  4. Ask: How would I like to proceed?

  5. Proceed

  6. Ask: Does this make sense / are we on the same page? (level set)

  7. Create a commitment / give your word to something - create who you will be in this relationship and how you will show up

As always, take what works for you and leave what doesn't. This process is not meant be a linear process. In other words, you can ebb and flow between the steps, multiple times, and out of order. Make it all your own!

—-

Special shout outs to Tara Brach and her talk on Living with Courageous Presence(part of the inspiration for this email), Landmarkfor equipping me with new ways to create an empowered life, and most of all to my Mom, Dad, and Aunt for their unconditional love. 

Inauthenticity in Sexuality

How did you feel when you read the title of this blog post: "inauthenticity in sexuality?"

Not such light reading, am I right? You may know by now that "beating around the bush" isn't really my style. 😛 

Yesterday, I was asked a series of questions about how I show up in sex that had me feeling all sorts of ways from sad and remorseful to expressed and compassionate. 

So now, I'm going to pose the same questions to you: 

Begin to confront and acknowledge where you've been being inauthentic in the area of sex. 

  • What have you been pretending? 

  • What is the impact of your having been inauthentic in the area of sex? Be specific. 

  • What new possibility would you like to create for yourself in this area of your life? (Share this with someone so you can create accountability and a chance to be seen)!

Oh shit. Right? 

Even if there's some discomfort, I invite you to sit with it and to really take a chance to explore your responses to these questions. A lot opened up for me when I did.


And so you know that you're not alone, here's a recap of how I answered the questions:

  • What have I been pretending? 

    • I've been pretending that I always feel empowered in sex, that I always enjoy sex, that I'm always "down to have" sex, that I always like sex rough or wild, when in fact, I often like slow, deep, sensual sex. 

    • I've been pretending that I "know it all" about sex.

  • What is the impact of your having been inauthentic in the area of sex? Be specific. 

    • I haven't clearly been able to request from a partner that which would have me feeling most in my pleasure during sex, therefore, it's not always pleasurable.

    • I have missed out on opportunities to create deep connection and intimacy in sex because I've used it as a physical means to win love and validation.

    • I have had sex that doesn't feel good or that I didn't really want to have - this has impacted my physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

  • What new possibility would you like to create for yourself in this area of your life?

    • I am creating the possibility of open communication and making clear requests for my desires.

    • I am creating the possibility of deep intimacy, spiritual connection, sensuality, fun, and play.

    • I am creating the possibility that I can enjoy sex as much of the time as I enjoy any other passion in life - every time!

    • I am creating the possibility of truly receiving in sex - feeling open and able to melt into my partner's deep desire to give me pleasure, with a free mind and an open heart.


Note: I've had plenty of great, connected, pleasurable sex in my life. These questions didn't ask about that, though. They asked about where I've been being inauthentic. So, even if you're having great sex intermittently, it may be time to ask why you're not having great sex ALL the time?


Alright, I'll let up on all of the deep thought for today. 


I super encourage you to reach out, especially if you can't think of anyone you want to share your responses with. You have an accountability buddy in me! 


Why I'm Choosing Celibacy

Let me start by saying that I AM NOT choosing celibacy forever, just for a short period. Believe me, I love sexy time just as much as the next person! 

It all started about a month ago when I had some MAJOR breakthroughs. For most of my life, I confused sexuality and intimacy. Can anyone relate?? 

That is, I created an inextricable link between the two. Of course they can come hand in hand, but they don’t have to. There can be sexuality without true intimacy (not a preferable choice for me, even though I’ve chosen it) and there can be deep intimacy without sexuality (even with someone you’re attracted to). 

As I explored facets of desire over the last month, I realized that I was in a holding pattern: feel desire, release or express it, feel “better” (maybe), rinse, repeat. 

I had become habituated to “needing” to release or express my desires, whether on my own, toward, or with someone else. This might have been escaping in my mind to sexual fantasy land, self-pleasure, texting someone to strike up sexy convo, or engaging with someone physically. 

Then, it dawned on me! I’ve been misplacing my energy on this seeming need to release and express! It’s not that I was doing anything “wrong” or “bad,” just simply that I wasn’t being as intentional as I could with my time and energy. And, as a result, I often times found myself distracted, scattered, and exhausted. 

Thus, I decided to take everything OFF the table, so that I could reintroduce options one by one, almost like a fast. 

I reached out to anyone I was romantically involved with and/or in flirtatious conversation with and created boundaries. I said “I’m on a personal journey and for some period of time, I’m going to be stepping back from sexual conversation and activity. I’d really appreciate if you honored my boundaries.” 

It went over well with each person I reached out to. I felt expressed (in a new way), seen, heard, and respected. What a breakthrough! 

As I’ve choicefully practiced celibacy over the last month, I’ve felt greater productivity in my work, a deeper focus on self, more time in the day, and ways to explore my sexuality as a solo journeyer. I’m not saying this is what everyone “should” do, however, it was a powerful choice for me. 

I feel empowered in this  because I know that as I begin to engage with others again, it will be BY CHOICE. It will no longer be me eating food off the metaphorical table just because it’s there. It’s me, CHOOSING to bring food back on to the table because it feels nourishing and supportive. Now doesn’t that make for the most delicious meal ever?! 

All of this to say, I honor and love the flow of my sexual energy. I do not wish to deprive myself (or choosing suitors) of its beauty and power. This month has shown me new sides of myself - sides that allow me to show up more dynamically in my work and in my personal life. For this, I’m grateful!