I was swimming at Pohiki Bay the other day and there was a lot of kids and families there. I usually enjoy watching everybody. But this particular day I watched one child swimming on the periphery of many adults and the adults were having some beers, laughing and having a good time. The child was on a boogie board and kept saying, "Dad look, Dad look, Daaaaaddddd, look." I watched this over and over and the child was completely ignored. Watching things like this make me so sad because I've learned over the years and through working with thousands of couples and parents that the power of acknowledgment is vital to self esteem. Sometimes we get caught up in the story that acknowledgment means agreement or acknowledgement takes a lot of time. That's just BS, simply acknowledging someone with eye contact and a verbal message that you can't give your full attention right now is enough. Obviously we need boundaries to have our own space and time. If I'm not available, I will often look the person in the eyes and say, "What you have to show me or say to me is important and I'm not available to give you my full attention right now, can we do it in 30 minutes?" Name a time when you can be fully present for them. This allows them to feel acknowledged, important and also to know that you're not abandoning them. We can't always show up right in the moment but we can always show up. We can give acknowledgment usually immediately. Another reason I see people not practice acknowledgment is that they are afraid if they acknowledge or understand the other person that they're agreeing with them. It's important to understand that acknowledgment and understanding does not equal agreement. It means you're willing to not take it personal, to see the story the other person is experiencing. Or if their current reality is true you can understand and relate to how they are feeling or acting. Understanding and acknowledging doesn't have to equal agreement. Take the time to be present, if even for a moment, and let someone know that they're important to you. Reassure them that you're interested and let them know when you can offer your full presence. Being ignored is hurtful, whatever your age.
I do the work I do because I need it. They say we teach what we best need to learn. I could share my family of origin- mom -dad- stuff but they are private and I care to be connected and loved by them. It started there but I have plenty of my own to talk about. My relationship course"Self Mastery in Relationship" was named that because I realized this over time:
Being a person with zero boundaries, my mo was to please you at all costs. That meant you would like me, that meant you wouldn’t leave me, that meant no conflict or rage. For me it also meant shutting down, resentment, mistrust, hurt and avoiding the pain through addiction. I could do anything for you as long as I was invisible. I did this so long I became an expert at meeting your needs, mine weren’t valid, if I had any I didn’t know what they were or I was ashamed I needed anything.
As I started to do work on co-dependency I started to be very disappointed in humanity thinking there are just no good people out there. Why can’t I find people who treat me the way I treat them. That was a time of great healing for myself but a very lonely time. I really didn’t trust anyone, trust is one of my core wounds.
Self mastery came about when I realized the only way to be wide open, vulnerable, authentic, and able to be unleashed in love was to realize I could trust myself in relationship. We can not control other people places or things. But you see the mistrust I really had wasn’t of others, it was of myself. It's really a selfish form of dishonesty to avoid loneliness, loss or grief. So when you get really ok with who you are, your comfortable in your own skin, you trust that you know your own needs, you trust you will stay and go when needed. You can start inspiring, requesting, teaching others how to treat you. You can actually set others up to when with you. And when you are very self aware and clear you can exit harmful situations and make better choices. This is where deep love and trust come from. If we are waiting for the perfect family, friends, lovers, kids, well it may be a hard wait. But if we are open, wild, raw, honest, speak out for ourselves, validate our own needs, be kind and generous to ourselves and others we can enjoy the imperfection of other humans. The only thing we can really master in relationship is ourselves. What is self mastery exactly? It is when you are present and aware enough as your moments unfold to never abandon you, to be with yourself as you interact and to stay wide open knowing you can course correct along the way.
Loving in self mastery is an ever evolving unfolding job. One that for me has been rich and rewarding. the intimacy I have today with others is beyond what I’ve ever imagined or read about.
At this time I cannot even send you to a self mastery in relationship webpage, this is a course I teach nationwide that is by private invite only. so if your ready to dive in deep to you and your relationships we will start with a talk, a relationship diagnostic session if you will. Give me a call personally 415-887-9746
I prefer using the Sanskrit words "Yoni" and "Vajra" instead of vagina and penis, so I will be referencing your vagina as your Yoni and your penis as your Vajra from here on out. The deepest, most intimate relationship we'll ever have in this life is with our own body: it's our first partner, our first interaction, it enables us to touch, feel, sense, and experience other people and life itself. The whole body matters, but today I'm going to talk about the Yoni or Vajra. We need to be self-aware enough to know how our body parts like to be treated. I had a wonderful person that used to do my Yoni hairdo. Her name is Brittney, many of you know her. She made the experience of sugaring or hair removal a sacred experience. Her gentle, kind touch, her laughter and distraction while ripping my hair out, and her presence, all offered the experience of getting hair removal done on my Yoni to be good. I never really thought about this much, kind of assuming that most people are like that. IT'S NOT TRUE. I moved to Hawaii, therefore not being able to see Brittany anymore for my Yoni sculpting and had to try someone new. Ouch, fuck! I felt like I had been abused, my own Yoni was actually screaming "Why are you hurting me like this, why don't you care?" That experience made me realize the kindness and awareness in which we need to treat all our body parts. Today I chose to do my own Yoni hair removal which I know how to do, lucky that I learned that skill many years ago. But to do that I needed to sit in front of the mirror. When's the last time you looked at your genitals in the mirror? I haven't looked at mine in a very long time. It made me realize all the body parts that we forget to look at, acknowledge, see, touch, and feel. It reminded me of how sometimes I have shame around my belly, my stretch marks, my flab, and that when I go beyond my own insecurity and I asked to receive touch on my belly it always feels amazing and wonderful and my belly is always appreciative. Our body parts actually have a voice! If you gave voice to your body parts today how would they want to be touched? How would they want to feel? What kind of exercise would your body like? If you can communicate with your own body and have self-awareness then you can communicate with your partner about what you like and what you don't like. Get to know your body parts deeper, better. This enables intimacy with yourself and it enables deeper intimacy with others. I often have couples shocked during a session when one of the partners is saying I want more sex, when that partner asks the other what they need that partner often says they don't know. Often the partner who is wanting sex is in disbelief because they know what they want, they can't relate to not knowing what they want. A partner that doesn't know REALLY doesn't know, so how can this partner tell their beloved what they want if they don't know what feels good? Take time to explore what it is your body wants sexually, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Your body is a true companion, it never lies, it will talk to you if you listen. When you serve your body, it will enable great sensory pleasure in which you can filter this life through.
I bodyboard some really fun waves here at Pohoiki Bay almost every day. One great difference between here and San Francisco, where I also surf almost every day I'm there, is that my partner Heidi can swim and snorkel while I'm riding waves. That's not going to happen in frigid NorCal waters. So it has enhanced our togetherness.
Yesterday when I was paddling out, I was startled by a 6" gray fin cutting the water about 10 feet from me. Instinctively turning for shore, I soon realized it was a large manta ray, which I have seen out there before. It followed me all the way out to the lineup. Pretty soon I heard yelling and saw some people along the rocky shoreline with their arms raised in triangles, shouting "SHARK! SHARK!" Oh well. They were just calling it as they saw it- it did look just like a shark fin. Nobody paid them much attention, and the manta stayed around the whole time, along with some sea turtles.
P.S. By Heidi
Often as couples we see things entirely different. One of the vital skills to a loving relationship is to not make each other wrong. We often say, "look, your wrong it's not a shark, it's a manta ray." Naturally we would want to correct there terror by showing the the "truth." Well intimacy happens when we allow for someones current reality to be met, heard and validated. So more like this, " OMG, that must be terrifying for you to see me in the water with a shark! I am happy to let you know it was a manta ray. Acknowledgment goes along way.
I was swimming the other day as I have been almost everyday since we arrived in Hawaii. Jay body boards and my challenge to myself is to swim in the ocean the whole time he's out. You see, I'm not an expert swimmer, I have to hold my nose under water if that gives you a sense. I've been a water lover my whole life and love to be in it. About one tourist dies in the water every week here in Hawaii. I have great reverence and respect for the water. The other day I put on mask and snorkel so I could swim like others and ventured out into the deep deep water. A big set of waves came and although I was probably fine, I got gripped with fear, couldn't breathe and my muscles began to feel as if I couldn't control them. I managed to get myself into the shallow water and thought "I'm getting out and I'll never do that again." Then my moms voice popped in, "Honey if you fall off get right back on the horse or you never will." So I stayed in. That day and the three days following I stayed in the shallow water. But on the fourth day I headed for the great deep blue, took my time, stayed relaxed, and let the waves wash over me. I had a very large earth mama sea turtle look at me, swim up close, and I swam with her for a time-suspended surreal life experience as she lead me through the coral reefs. Had I shut down out of fear I couldn't of had that very rich experience. It is dangerous. That's why it reminds me of love. So many people say love hurts, I can't open all the way I will get hurt, I'm only in 100% if I know it will work out. Well, I say "always get back on the horse" Great beauty and treasured moments happen in vulnerable raw intimacy. Is it dangerous? Hell yes. Better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all. More people suffer from loneliness than die of broken hearts. And I say if it didn't work, there is something better just around the corner if you're willing to get in the deep water.
Did you know that food affects the environment of your relationship and your sex drive? When I eat sugar and flour I feel swollen, bloated, I begin to want to withdraw. When Jay eats sugar he's more irritable. I have had many people tell me when they eat unhealthy they feel angry or act more abrupt, resulting in pulling away from intimacy. When our internal environment is cared for we feel vibrant, sexy, vital. This leads us to closer intimacy and a desire to share bright energy with one another. There are even certain foods that inspire libido.
Here are 5 of my favorites:
Spinach - increases blood flow below the belt
Pumpkin Seeds - little bits of Prozac, increasing serotonin and jumpstarting your ability to have pleasure
Garlic- according to the Egyptians it improves stamina
For Her: Coffee - has a stimulant proven to put you in the mood
For Him: Blueberries - make things harder, if ya know what I mean
How have you dulled your energy field? And do you notice a difference in your desire to be or not to be with people when you eat or don't eat a certain way? Have you noticed when you exercise, and eat well you want more sex?
Our typical breakfast:
Smoothie: 1tsp chorella, 1tsp spirulina, 1 banana, ice, water, 2 oz of pumpkin seeds
Honey-sweetened granola or oats
Fruit- mostly blueberries..:)LOL