When a woman comes to me for relationship coaching, I often see familiar patterns and similar hurts. Underneath her pain, loneliness or confusion is a sense of unworthiness. To compensate for not feeling good enough, she does what one of my teachers, Tanja Diamond, calls ‘outsourcing.’ Instead of turning inward to integrate her wounded bits and pieces, she turns to others to validate her, reflect back what she doesn’t see herself or finds ways to numb her pain.
Studies show that loneliness has doubled: 40 percent of adults in two surveys said they were lonely, up from 20 percent in the 1980s. Many are afraid to admit they are lonely because of a sense of shame. Source: Slate Magazine on the Dangers of Loneliness.
How do you compensate for your feelings of sadness, loneliness or despair? Sometimes you indulge in excess or denial. Your Relationships are a mess or non-existent and you are often good at distracting yourself. Inversely, if you are avoiding feeling sad and spending a lot of time on social media, your emotional emptiness gets worse, not better. Then there’s that nasty game of comparing yourself to others which is terribly damaging to self-love and acceptance.
It’s no wonder romance novels fly off the shelves as millions of women literally prefer reading or sleep to 9 minutes of f*cking, which is the average amount of time spent on sex these days.
I’ve coached hundreds of women. Most are stuck in Fantasy Relationships, become Hermits, repeat patterns of Abuse or find themselves in relationships that Flame Out or Aren’t Perfect, She’d Rather Pass than risk getting hurt some more. These are just a handful of the Deadly Dating Patterns women play out in love and sex identified by Dr. Diana Kirschner, best-selling NYT author and 35 year relationship expert. Dr. D also happens to be one of my mentors.
Boring! Bland! Why Bother, right?
The epidemic of dissatisfying relationships including bad sex doesn’t have to be.
You have within you the power to break free from the shackles that have enslaved you. Your beliefs and actions can and will determine a new reality. The most evocative, significant and healing thing you can do to feel more alive is to remove the confines and artificial restrictions upon your natural primal selves.
You are literally wired to feel pleasure. Women who learn to tune in to their senses through mindfulness practices, sensual ritual and tantra have better, more satisfying sex.
Tip #1. LET YOUR SENSES SEDUCE YOU.
This is an invitation to Wake Up. Feel. Taste. Breathe. Touch. See. Hear and Smell. Sense beyond your finger tips, your lips, your nose, your eyes, your ears. Use your heart space. Allow yourself to be as sensual as you dare.
For many women, this means feeling beyond what you’ve been socialized to feel and past the point of comfort. This can be alarming or incredibly freeing. Your senses are not restricted by size, age or appearance and breathing is your connection to life, expansion and passion.
Time spent outdoors is time well spent. Studies show that digging in the dirt, walking through forests and connecting to nature alleviate symptoms of depression.
Tip #2. GET OUT IN NATURE.
A teacher once said to me, humans aren’t part of nature…they are nature.
One powerful way to live more passionately is to to spent time in nature. You’ll feel more alive. Those who head this call understand the connection between feeling more alive, sensual and sexual. I like how the author of a favorite book explains it best.
“Eros, sexual energy, is life-force energy permeating all of creation and influencing our own creativity and ecstatic experiences,” writes Julie McIntyre in Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart: Nature, Intimacy and Sexual Energy (Destiny Books, 2012).
“Once you truly let yourself feel again after a few meals of the wild and sensuous Earth, a shift in consciousness penetrates the foundations of your beliefs and value systems. An unexpected shift in principles and perceptions is thrust into your mind and all that you were before suddenly becomes pregnant with uncivilized thoughts unlike anything you’ve thought previously.”
GET OUT THERE. Feel the sand between your toes. Feel the wind in your hair and on your skin. Breathe in the air along a gorgeous hike. Let your eyes gaze outward and onward and soak up the hues of the gorgeous world around you.
Many women feel they are too fat/ugly/old/grey/saggy/unworthy to enjoy love. When you are taught how to love yourself and your perceived imperfections, you show up as your enchanted, "Diamond Self" a phrase coined by the author's mentor, Dr. Diana Kirschner.
Tip #3: TURN YOUR WOUNDS IN WISDOM.
This one is really hard, especially for women who have been sexually violated or abused. (I didn’t say sexual enlightenment was easy). I share my wound story to help other women face theirs…and hopefully understand what I mean by embracing your wound as a gift.
In my early thirties, I was diagnosed with vulvar vestibulitis.
I’d had the condition for several years before I found the courage to ask my doctor about it. It would be another decade before I could speak of it publically. For years, I searched for an answer. That wound and the baggage that came with it was the circuitous route to becoming a dating coach for women today. I quite literally had to become broken in order to allow my primordial faculties to reawaken my mind, loins and heart.
Your wounds are a gift. They can be stumbling blocks or stepping stones to living with greater passion. It’s your choice.
Tip #4. TRUST YOUR BODY WISDOM.
If you are the type to spend a lot of time in your head, analyzing everything, chances are you are missing vital clues from your body.
You can’t think wounds and worries away. Healing is a corporal process as much as it is emotional and spiritual. That’s why I teach women to allows your body to lead the way to what is missing in your (love) life?
YOU CAN. There is if you pay attention to the clues along the way.
The most important first step is to breathe and slow down, way down, if only for 5 minutes a day. Then when you are calm, tune in to what is going on in your body.
Are you holding in your stomach? Is there tightness anywhere? Pay attention. Your body has a message. Listen because that is the secret to finding love, healing love and making love better.
Will these tips work? They are a stepping stone to a more aware and precious connection to yourself, nature and your beloved. As with any shelf help you may have on your plate, they are only as useful as you put them into practice.
My daily and weekly life is filled with ritual and dedication and more than once, these practices have rescued my love life from the doldrums and more importantly, awaken that wildness within that lets me know I’m gloriously alive.
Want more juicy tips for sensational love?
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Because you're smart, spirited and sensational, and your love life should be too. Learn more at www.TinamarieBernard.com