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! 

Living Just Beyond Your Edge

Today's inspiration is an excerpt from "The Way of the Superior Man," by spiritual teacher and author, David Deida:

In any given moment, a man’s growth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort. Nor should he push far beyond his edge, stressing himself unnecessarily, unable to metabolize his experience. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort. Constantly. In everything he does.

Many have spoken about the concept of "living on the edge," "leaning in," etc.; this is nothing new. What may be new is the feeling you get when you actually push yourself to "live just beyond your edge."

Undoubtedly, this is pretty scary for most people; I know it's scary for me. What's on the other side of that fear, however, is unfathomable growth and forward expansion into more of who we are.

Even if pushing yourself just beyond your edge doesn't turn out ideally in a given scenario, there is always something to glean from the experience. When keeping that mindset, we become curious explorers of our lives, instead of judges - waiting for the next thing to persecute ourselves for.

Here's an example how I've made this work in my life:

I find a "low-risk" way to practice what it means to live just beyond my edge. This allows me to build the muscle of doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable without feeling like I'm in danger or reaching beyond my abilities.

One of the things that pushes me to live in this zone of growth and expansion is having difficult conversations with people where I'm sharing my feelings, especially if I'm making any judgement on their behavior.

When the situation arises, I ask myself: have I built trust and rapport with this person? Are they likely to love me no matter what I share or how it comes out?

If the answer is yes, then I know this is a relatively "low-risk" scenario, i.e. my job isn't on the line, there is no risk of physical injury, and if emotional injury occurs, it is likely reparable, etc.

Once I've conducted that assessment, I go for it.

I might say something like: "I'd like to share something with you and I'm nervous because..." I then proceed to share what's on my heart.

This allows a space for me to name what I'm feeling while giving the other person a chance to connect with my experience. I have found that this adds to the rapport the person and I have cultivated, while deepening trust. I'm also sure to be as active a listener as I am a sharer.

After that, things may get messy, they may not.

Generally, I feel a sense of relief in having shared something that's been on my mind. I also feel a sense authenticity for having had the courage to share my experience. More times than not, pushing myself to have conversations like this has brought me closer to the other person. This is all I could ask for in my relationships.

This is simply one example of what it might look like to "live beyond your edge." Remember, we get to create how, where, when and with whom we do this. The important part is to JUST DO IT.

In the words of the wise Ms. Frizzle: "take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"

You won't regret it.



Feelings as Sounds

How have you been feeling lately? No, really. Answer the question.

Everyone I’ve asked this question to has experienced their last few weeks and months with dynamism. In other words, they’ve felt a diverse range of emotions, from happiness, joy, and gratitude, to sadness, anger, and frustration.

I find myself in the same position. You may have seen some of my recent posts on Facebook and Instagram. In a futile attempt to corral my emotions, I tried getting “linear” with them. I thought a to-do list would help, or that I could apply some “strategy” to “fix my way out of feeling” something uncomfortable. You can probably guess how that worked out for me… -_-

When talking and writing about my feelings wasn’t allowing me release tension, I did the next thing that felt most natural: I made sounds. In doing this, I realized that my emotions don’t always want to be defined. They don’t always want to be discussed. They don’t always want to be “fixed” or changed. Sometimes, they want to just BE.

In an attempt to support my body through all these feelings, (and convince my roommate that I’m a little bit whacky), I made any sound that came to me, from animal sounds to primal sounds. I let out huge gusts of air, I grunted, I screeched, I sqwealed.

By the time I was done, about 20 minutes later, I felt immensely relieved. Not because I had “solved” anything, but because I allowed myself to be as I was and to express freely (without my intellect, for once).

Admist all of the action in our lives, from working and meeting deadlines, to spending time with loved ones and reaching personal goals, we’ve gotta make some time and space for ourselves! It is in this space that we build a grounded foundation, so that when it’s time to go out and interact with the world, we’ve got sturdy feet and legs to stand upon.

The seasons are changing, both in our external environements and our internal landscapes. We as beings are all experiencing great change. When we can utilize the tools we have (like the breath and sound work I mentioned above), we can stay grounded and feel embodied.



The Power of Containing Desire

de·sire

/dəˈzī(ə)r/

verb

  1. strongly wish for or want (something).

noun

  1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

    What is it you regularly desire?

    • Certain types of food or drinks? 

    • More sleep?

    • Particular people?

    • Great sex? 

    • Deep intimacy with loved ones? 

    What are your habits around desire? In other words, how do you satisfy or reconcile the sensation you feel inside when you desire something or someone?

    Take a minute to think on that...

    How have your habits around desire served you, or not? 

    I know what you're thinking: "dammit, Lee! Why are you making me think about such deep things on a Monday morning?! I haven't even had my second cup of coffee!" 

    Okay, maybe you're not thinking this...but if you are, my response is: "What better way is there to start the week than by playing with the concept of desire and our potential power that lies beyond some of our quick fix habits to satisfy it [desire]?"

    I wanna tell you a quick story that may resonate. 

    In my not too distant past, I was a glutton for the sensation I felt the moment I got to satisfy a desire. Aren't we all? What I was missing out on was a whole world of richness that can be experienced when we see what it's like to contain a desire within. That's right, to not do anything about it, just feel it. 

    Given the kind of work I do (and the fact that I'm human), I'm quite familiar with sexual desire. One of the ways I related to sexual desire was to express or release it. This may have been in the form of escaping to sexual fantasy land in my mind, texting someone with the intention of having a sexual conversation, self-pleasure, you get the point...

    Does any of this sound familiar to you?

    As soon as I realized that I didn't always have to act on my desires, I started to recognize how often I would choose one of the aforementioned options as both a means of satisfaction and escape from whatever was right in front of me, be it my work, a challenging situation, or anything else. 

    I had become habituated (for many reasons) to acting on desire, even if it wasn't what felt most healthful or appropriate for me in that moment. 

    So, what's a girl to do with all this desire and the newly realized choice of how I want to orient myself to it?

    Here's what I've been playing with: 

    1. Noticing when desire arises

    2. Acknowledging that it's there

    3. Closing my eyes (or softening my gaze) and feeling the sensation in my body

    4. Using each inhale to pull the sensation from my genital region toward my heart (up the backside of my body)

    5. Using each exhale to send the energy from my heart back toward the genitals (down the front side of my body)

    6. Continuing this breathing pattern while imagining the loop of breath up and down within my body 

    7. Observing whatever comes up - could be more sensation, a feeling of calm, a slight smile, curiosity, frustration, etc. 

    8. Feeling the space I've created to now CHOOSE what I want to do next - act on the desire, go back to what I was working on, take a (dance) break, something else...

    The key here is that I recognize that I have a CHOICE to act (or not) on a desire. This alone has made all the difference in the focus I bring to my work, in the amount of energy I have throughout the day, in my overall mood, and in my productivity. I’m no longer a slave to desire.

    When we can sit with something like desire for long enough, we get to acquaint ourselves to it in new ways. We get to see and experience a world beyond habit, and as a result, we feel more of our potential and fullness. 

    The sexual energy that exists within us IS life force energy, IS creative energy, IS the energy we use to manifest the world around us. 

    I invite you to think and feel on how you'd like to use this potent energy that you have within. You've got a whole lifetime ahead of you to play with this. Get curious. Have fun.