Category Archives: Divine Feminine/Masculine

Trust and Betrayal.

 DeathtoStock_Medium5Keeping my heart open is essential for allowing trust—but it also allows for possible bruising, and even breakage.

Remember, though, when someone or some situation seems to have betrayed your trust and your heart (and ego?) is limping around, still assessing the damage: You didn’t do anything wrong by trusting.

My first thought is usually, ”Why did I trust her/him?!”

My next thought is that I feel stupid to have somehow “allowed” myself to be betrayed.

Let your heart hurt if it needs to, but let it hurt because of the betrayal itself, not because you trusted them. Trust is not a weakness; it’s a blessing and a gift—to ourselves first, and then also to everyone else. Please don’t add to the heartache by doubting your decision to trust.

“The fact that you are feeling big pain lets you know you are truly living big. When you live a big and openhearted life, the possibility of big pain is also present.” ~ Jo Underwood

I used to feel like a fool if someone betrayed my trust. I would spend large amounts of time beating myself up, looking back at all the signs I should have somehow deciphered differently to somehow have figured out that this person was at some point going to betray me.

I thought I was somehow “guilty” and to blame for not being smart enough to know a betrayer when I saw one. I think those who are betrayed are often seen as naïve, stupid, blind or gullible. At the kindest, they are seen as victims.

“You should have known better,” the betrayed are told.

Silly, right? Yeah, I know. But I think we humans seem to believe some version of that much of the time.

There is no shame in having been betrayed. Indeed, the shame, if there is any to be spread around, might better go to the betrayer. They took trust and misused it.

To trust is to be open to possibilities. It is to let the heart fly and sing and swell. To trust is to be brave and generous. It is to give up trying to control those things outside ourselves.

To trust is offer up one of the most sacred gifts we have to give. To just jump in with enthusiasm and trust with your big, available heart, ready to believe the very best is possible, is like magic.

It’s the opposite of enabling, the opposite of co-dependence. It’s like saying, “I know you can handle this. I’m gonna just let you do it your way, because I know you got this. I’ll be right over here cheering you on, and when you’re done, we can go celebrate that you showed up and did your best.”

It is best served up in times of worry, uncertainty and fear. It can come in many forms, too—big like a formal prayer carefully lifted up to a higher power, or more simply like a quick, small knowing that the right words will somehow spill right out my mouth when I look up and realize a friend in need is walking toward me.

And to be trusted, when someone else gives me that gift—well, it is like being handed the shiny, secret key to his or her tender heart. I want to hold that so carefully, so respectfully.

So trust. Be that brave, that vulnerable, that allowing and open. Just jump into the pool of trust and sink down into it. Be brave enough to become the person that goes first. It feels scary at first, but then good when you realize what a relief it is, how it makes your body relax, your breathing settle low into a soft belly. And it feels good no matter how well it is received—or even if it is received.

Just the act of trusting is enough.

Try it. Imagine someone or something in your mind, face him or her and say, “I trust you. I trust you to do whatever it is that you need to do in whatever way you need to do it.” And then let it go. You’ve given it to them, so that now you can let them take it from there. You don’t have to worry about it anymore.

But what if, in doing it their way, they violate something in us? We must trust that everyone is doing the best they can in each moment with what they have to work with in that moment—including ourselves.

“What if no one is misbehaving?” ~ Alison Armstrong

We forgive. We ask them about their motives. We listen with an open, trusting heart, and discover that they had ample, satisfying reasons for what they’ve done—reasons we couldn’t have imagined, but that prove they were not misbehaving, they were simply trusting themselves too.

We don’t trust for anyone else, my dears, we trust for ourselves—to release ourselves from that small, tight, dark place where we put our hearts originally for protection, but which, some time ago—and without our conscious consent—has actually become a prison.

And in trusting and being open and vulnerable, you will discover different types of people: those you may choose not to be around, those who push your boundaries of trust, those who betray you and also those who maybe don’t betray you exactly, but perhaps try to use your trust to their advantage. The more you practice trust, the easier it is to recognize these.

What to do with those?

Brene Brown, the vulnerability-shame queen, says it best:

“How do you make yourself be vulnerable with somebody you don’t completely trust, like in a relationship?”

“You don’t,” Brene answers.

It is almost like a sacrament when, after I’ve been betrayed and I have finally let the water clear and all the sediment has settled back down to the bottom of the pond, I realize: I didn’t do anything wrong.

I was just showing up, living my life with my own brand of wacky, authentic integrity and balance, doing my best, making mistakes but keeping my heart open, assuming positive intent, allowing vulnerability, not perfect, not right—just trusting.

The fact that that person lied to me, cheated on me, verbally attacked me, tried to shame me or betrayed me says absolutely nothing negative about me. It doesn’t necessarily make me a victim, either.

It just says I know how to trust, I know how to not take on the responsibility for something that is not mine, I know how to live and love big—from an open, vulnerable heart—and that is a glorious thing.

Don’t let past betrayals talk your heart out of showing up! Keep it unlocked and open and ready to be amazed by the (mostly!) goodness all around you.

Don’t be ashamed of being betrayed. Don’t let anyone talk you into thinking you did anything wrong by trusting. More importantly, don’t let you talk yourself into that.

Remember that to trust is to be brave. It empowers you, and those you trust, as well.

First published at elephant journal.

Walking our Talk – The Vulnerability Challenge.

DeathtoStock_Medium4We live in a world that is—for the most part—not accepting of men being vulnerable and expressing their true emotions.

This needs to change.

A friend who is also a single parent called me on Christmas Eve to tell me that his kids (older teenagers) had bailed on going to Christmas Eve church service with him. He was also unsure whether they were going to follow through with the plans he had made to spend time with them.

He said he needed to talk about it and asked what my thoughts were on the issue.

We owe it to our kids, indeed to the world, to live and speak from our hearts, to recognize vulnerability and have the courage to speak from that place of pain/joy/authenticity.

It is the only way, in my opinion, that our children will learn how to be true, authentic, compassionate humans—only if we model it for them, and even if they do roll their eyes at us.

He expressed his indecision in that moment, just because he hadn’t yet had time to meditate on it, about how to handle the situation. He admitted to his desire to keep a stiff upper lip and just hand them their Christmas presents and leave, giving in and trying to respect that maybe they really didn’t want to spend time with him.

He expressed more when he said he wanted to have a talk with them about honor, respect and family. I could feel his sadness, pain, confusion and anger through the phone—and his indecision about into which of those he might finally land.

As a single parent, I must admit to sometimes doing much the same. My daughter and I enjoy an authentic, vulnerable, joyful, fun relationship most of the time. But I have also kept a stiff upper lip at times, not wanting to express my hurt and pain to her over something that might have happened between us.

I’ve done that to preserve some sort of peace that I seem to think is necessary between us. But what peace can be had when I’m holding back my authentic self and not allowing myself to be vulnerable?

Even more importantly is the fact that he is a father and a man. And he is a man that I know is willing and able to live in his masculine, as well as vulnerable, heart. We have often talked about how important and difficult it is to live from that vulnerable, strong place.

Yet we live in a world that does not value a man’s vulnerability, that does not welcome a man who is expressing emotions—especially if those emotions involve sadness, pain or indecision.

We accept anger from a man—indeed most men express anger first and foremost in adverse situations—mainly because our society teaches that as appropriate and that is what is so often modeled as normal for men. But we very seldom welcome pain, tears or sadness from men.

Men repeatedly told Brene Brown, the amazing shame-vulnerability expert, that women couldn’t handle their true, deep vulnerability, that we women kick the emotional shit out of men when they express their true pain and sadness. So they admitted to pretending to be vulnerable, and they only tell us what they think we can handle.

Remember ladies: men are basically hard-wired to make us happy. It’s just the way their brains work. So of course they want to be vulnerable when we ask it of them, but can you blame them for not showing us the true pain when we kick them emotionally for it?

Can you blame them for pretending to be vulnerable?

My first thought was: How masculine of them—how very chivalrous and protective to not want to upset us.

My second thought was the same one Brene had: Oh my gawd, I am the patriarchy, the oppressor.

We ask, even beg, men to tell us what’s going on inside, what they’re feeling, what emotions they are experiencing. “Please let me in,” we demand of them. We get upset when they won’t share with us. But according to her research, when men do share the real emotions, the real pain, doubts and fears, we women very often can’t handle it—and men know this.

I relate the story of how it showed up in Brene’s life. She came home and saw that her husband was upset about some extended family issues. She immediately got angry and wanted to pick a fight with him.

Instead—and because she had done so much research about this very thing—she pretended she was in a movie taking direction, playing a character that knew how to handle that sort of situation without anger.

Anger is very often fueled by fear. We live in a world that is afraid of men being vulnerable and expressing their true emotions. And this fear is often expressed as derision, as shaming. This must change.

How are we going to change this?

As a woman, I am committed to learning how to carefully, lovingly and authentically sit with and support a man who is feeling and expressing emotions—especially the “negative” emotions. I am committed to learning to stop and think before I act and speak if, like Brene, my first impulse is to get angry with him.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ~Brene Brown

I am demanding of myself something better, something braver, something much more humane and vulnerable (scarier!). I have made a vow to not shame anyone, especially a man—who we women have already trained to not be fully vulnerable—for having emotions and expressing them. I am committed to learning to peacefully allow them, even when I might be feeling fear.

I am going to do these things because integrity demands it. The future demands it. The world my daughter is inheriting demands it.

I hope you will join me.

In doing my own work, in learning how to allow men to be vulnerable without letting myself be overcome by fear and then anger, I am asking men to meet me there in that scary, vulnerable place.

As a woman, I am asking men to please consider being brave enough to be vulnerable. I’m asking you to do your own work too—the work on yourself that will allow you to meet me there. Brene Brown points out that you can’t get to courage without going through vulnerability first.

I am asking for your trust.

And in asking for your trust, I am also admitting to failing at this at times, too—even now, when I have become so aware of its importance. So I thank you for your brilliant patience as I am learning.

I am asking you to help us heal our children, ourselves and, indeed, everyone on the Planet. I am willing to “go first” (thanks Steve Horsmon!) by offering that to you. I am willing to learn to sit with the discomfort of allowing if it means healing, for everyone, will take place.

And I believe healing will take place like this: one person at a time, one vulnerable exchange at a time. And men, I’m going to ask you to be even braver by living it out loud with me—by expressing this vulnerability on the stage of the world.

We are going to be even more courageous than that though, ladies and gentlemen, because we are going to be this vulnerable and brave in front of our own children, in our own homes.

We must.

Because everyone knows this is the real test of walking our talking, isn’t it? Not only by how we treat our friends, co-workers and the random person-in-need we help on the street, but by how we interact, breath-by-breath with those closest to us—at the kitchen table each morning, in the car on the way to soccer practice.

“If he’s not he should be by now. The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets—”

“Atticus don’t ever do anything to Jem and me in the house that he don’t do in the yard,” I said, feeling it my duty to defend my parent.

“Gracious child, I was raveling a thread, wasn’t even thinking about your father, but now that I am I’ll say this: Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”

~ To Kill a Mockingbird (Miss Maudie in a conversation with Scout)

We are going to teach by example. We are going to show up, be vulnerable, responsibly express our sadness, pain, joy, concerns. And when society tries to shame us into submission, we are going to take Brene Brown’s advise and not let them. We’re going to teach our children, chiefly by example, that is not okay to shame anyone else—ever.

And when we discover we have done it unconsciously, have reverted back to that without realizing it, we are going to make it right as soon as possible.

How do we not allow society, which most often shows up as a person trying to talk/shame us out of our emotions, to shame us? By simply stating, with calm, and even kind, conviction, “I refuse to let you shame me for my emotions. I am sad/in pain/upset/etc. right now. If you are not comfortable with that, then you might want to leave the room (my life?).”

“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Just stand your holy ground.” ~ Brene Brown

I am confident my single-parent friend will choose the correct path for him, his children, the world, because I know and trust him to be a man who is willing and able to live in that authentic, necessarily vulnerable place.

And I sincerely hope you will join me in this vulnerable (scary!) quest. I hope you will be kind to yourself when, like me, you find yourself slipping and falling back into old patterns as you learn to move into a new, and hopefully better, way of being.

I hold a hope, a vision, that you and I can learn to be kind to, not only others, but also to ourselves when we “fail,” because that form of sweet, vulnerable self-allowing is also a most needed saving grace in our world.

Originally published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Why Women are Attracted to Bad Boys and How to Fix That.

kissing coupleAs women, we cannot fault men who are too “passive” if we are living from our own masculine energy.

“Bad boy” is defined by the Urban Dictionary as:

“A young man who has many characteristics of a naughty boy: he’s independent and willful; he does what he wants when he wants; he doesn’t follow trends, they follow him; he often looks scruffy, but hip; he’s not looking for trouble, but there’s a sense of danger about him. For these reasons and more, he’s irresistible to women. He’s a heartbreaker with five o’clock shadow. Humphrey Bogart was the original badboy.”

James Michael Sama gets into society’s categories and writes:

“Bad boys are ‘supposed to be’ kind of jerks who never really treat you right, and nice guys are ‘supposed to be’ guys who are silly putty in the hands of the woman in their life, obeying her every beck and call.”

Traditionally, “bad boys” seem to be those men who don’t treat women well, and despite that, and some people think, because of that, they tend to attract more women than gentlemen (or “nice guys”) do.

I say there’s more going on here than meets the proverbial eye.

David Deida talks about it when he explains (paraphrasing an audio of his) how firstly, women desire masculine men—men who are predominately on the masculine end of that masculine-to-feminine spectrum.

He gives the example of a woman who is married and where the masculine-feminine polarity has gone wonky in her marriage so that she is most often carrying the masculine energy, and who gets excited and is attracted when she sees the rough, black leather-clad biker gang (the classic, probably over-used, “bad boy” stereotype) ride into town.

He continues about how she may be surprised at this attraction and instantly tries to dismiss that she is attracted to “bad boys” while being “happily” married, but then also can’t quite make herself forget about those bad boys either.

She’s attracted because she craves polarity.

It is only through this polarity that attraction—the spark—happens between people. If she is carrying masculine (or more neutral) energy most of the time, it would take a very strongly masculine man to make her feel feminine again, to create the polarity she craves. It might take a “bad boy.”

Any of my female clients who complain about only attracting passive/feminine men, has to sit through my own story, as I tell her how important it is to look at her own energy first.

As women, we cannot fault men who are too “passive” if we are living from our own masculine energy. Because of course we are only going to attract passive men in that case—or attract men who more easily go to the feminine end of that spectrum when in the presence of masculine energy.

The polarity is always going to instantly happen whether we are conscious of it or not.

There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Each needs the other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.

So no matter who holds what energy, the polarity is going to happen. When a woman lives from the masculine end of the spectrum, she is going to attract people (male and female) that are on the feminine end of the spectrum.

And there is no right or wrong place to be on that spectrum, but when a woman is talking about only attracting feminine/passive (read:  who don’t initiate things, who don’t take charge) men when she also proclaims to only want masculine men, I always tell her to look at her own energy first.

Because I believe the reason women are attracted to so-called “bad boys” is because they are attracted to the very masculine (albeit, perhaps also, destructive) energy that bad boys exude.

There is also a belief that “nice guys finish last,” meaning, that women will always be attracted to the bad boys first and foremost. But I think the problem is not about manners; it’s about the polarity.

So to put to rest the idea that women like to be mistreated by so-called “bad boys,” I want to point out that women just want to be with a masculine, take-charge sort of man.

And I also want to point out that that is not going to happen if the woman is already on that masculine, take-charge end of the spectrum.

So the fact that women are attracted to bad boys doesn’t mean they want to be treated badly or are interested in being abused. It means they are in search of masculinity.

And they may be in search of and attracted to strong masculinity because they have, for many reasons, become masculine in order to deal with life. My own masculine energy was something I wore as protection—as the result of an abusive childhood. It was totally an unconscious situation—as it usually is for most folks.

The remedy?

I think the remedy is to find your own comfortable place on that masculine-feminine spectrum—and to also realize you will attract the polar opposite of that. If you are comfortable with both of those ideas, you’ve got nothing to think about.

If, on the other proverbial hand, you are not satisfied with one or both of those ideas, it is time to take a look, not at the other person, but at yourself.

Because you are responsible for and can only change yourself.

So ladies, if you want to attract strong, masculine men and you’re disappointed that is not what’s happening, you might want to have a look at your own energy. Where are you on that spectrum?

Rachel Jayne Groover, the author of Powerful and Feminine (a book I highly recommend—as well as her workshops), provides a quiz to see where you fall on that spectrum. She has found that most women with this issue in their life tend to be more neutral rather than actually masculine.

Polarity might not be the only factor in play, but it’s a good place to start, in my (experienced – yikes!) opinion.

Please understand, too, that this energy affects every part of your life and all of your relationships—not just the romantic ones.

Does this mean you may have to take a look at why you are mostly masculine most of the time? Yes.

Might it be difficult? It might.

And you can do it. You are worth the digging, the time and the work it might take.

You will, most probably, not like some of the things you find out about yourself. The good news, though? Once you’re aware of it, you can change it. Don’t let shame get its claws in you and hold you back.

One of the scariest, most embarrassing and shameful things I found out about my own former, protective, masculine self was how I used to need to emasculate men to keep from feeling so vulnerable and unsafe with them.

Once you become more aware and learn how to find and hold your own spot on that spectrum, you will begin to notice everyone’s energy and begin to recognize where they fall on the spectrum and how it has the potential to affect you.

It becomes possible, then, to make conscious decisions about where you want to be, energy wise, so that you are not instantly pulled out of your comfort zone by someone else’s energy.

You will be able to place yourself anywhere you choose on the spectrum— consciously, responsibly and respectfully—for everyone involved.

This will also keep you from gravitating toward those (very few) men out there who really are bad and who might actually not treat you like the queen/goddess you truly are.

And gentlemen, are you so totally confused and fed up right now with this whole issue? Can’t say I blame you.

Take heart, though, as James Michael Sama writes:

“Women don’t want someone who sways too far in either direction. Women want a man who is adventurous but also stable. They want a man who is going to challenge her but also support her. Who is going to empower her but also protect her. Who is going to seduce her but also respect her. A man who is going to provide for her but also not take away her independence to do so herself. A man who is going to make her feel sexy, but also make her feel safe.

“A lot of men are probably reading this thinking about how complicated it sounds – but I don’t really think it is. I think it’s relatively straightforward: Don’t be a pushover, and don’t be a jerk. Find a middle ground. Keep your pride as a man and also do what it takes to make the woman in your life happy. You are not her servant, and you are not her boss. You are her equal, her teammate, her partner in a relationship; and she needs to be able to see you that way.

“You don’t have to be a bad boy or a nice guy, you can be both. Challenge her, seduce her, empower her. But also love, honor, and value her. That is what she wants.”

A version also published at elephant journal.

For Whom I am Grateful

justme.jpgI am just me, and what makes me more is you. My cup runneth over from the blessings of all of those present in my life.

The Daughter

I am grateful for my daughter and her beauty—inside and out. Her humor, strength and grace astound me. Her intelligence humbles me; that she is rocking graduate school is like a dream-come-true for this momma. I love her compassion and sweetness, her healthy boundaries, the way she is strong and soft all at once.

I love the way, a few weeks ago, when I suddenly went into a shame spiral while we were talking and told her so, she knew, instinctively, that the thing to say was not something like, “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t go there. You shouldn’t feel that way.”

She knew just to sit with me; she knew the thing to do was just actually join me and let me vent. She didn’t try to fix it, and she didn’t try and shame me into not feeling shame. She has earned the right to hear my shameful stories.

The Man

I am grateful for my man, who constantly amazes me with his kindness, his willingness to go to vulnerable, scary places with me, his courage. I love how he lives from his faith, from his heart, from that vulnerability, how he walks his talk, how he doesn’t take my BS and let me pull him out of his clarity, his integrity.

He is, all at once, the most masculine and the most available, vulnerable man I have ever known.

I love how he accepts me and doesn’t try and change me, how he lets me cry when I need to, knowing it’s just a way I clear myself out. His dry, intelligent humor cracks me up and keeps me surprised and laughing.

I am grateful for how he remembers important things about me and my life. I love his thoughtfulness, how driven, focused and trustworthy he is. I love the way he lets me need him and how he allows himself to need me too.

I am grateful for his support, how he held me for hours and let me cry (sob) when my sweet kittle boy died. I love the way he takes care of things—including me.

I love the way he takes responsibility for his self-growth and his life, letting me do the same. I love how we gently pull each other up to the next highest level of ourselves when we’re together.

I love the respect and adoration he shows me. I love that he lets me adore him. And I am so grateful for his kisses—they are epic.

The Guyfriend

I am grateful for my friend who when I emailed him, venting, telling him I was angry at someone, replied, “Sorry about you feeling jerked around. Let me know if you want me to beat him up. In the meantime, just lean into him and take no shit. I’m happy to talk about it if you want.”

I love the way he supports and champions me in my self-growth and in my life—professionally and personally. I appreciate the way he answers my man questions so easily and quickly. I love how he lets me help him out too with his woman questions.

I love the sweet, brotherly love I feel from him, letting me know that he’s got my back. I love how he makes me laugh—at life, at him, at myself. I am grateful for how he is always giving me “gifts” from the Cosmos—in the form of synchronicities and great timing; I am grateful for his relationship advice. I call him my relationship guardian angel.

I appreciate that he is such a role model for me in my professional life. I love how he allows himself to be real and vulnerable—while still strong and masculine.

The Girlfriend

I am grateful for my girlfriend who makes me laugh so hard I about pee myself. I love the belly laughs and guffaws that happen when we are together. I am grateful that she allows me to be my crazy, wild-ass, multidimensional self when we’re together.

I am so grateful that she trades hypnotherapy sessions with me, allowing me to process my shit with her fine, strong support.

I love the way she allows me to talk to her and rant and how she gently leads me back to myself each time, leads me to aha moments that are blinding in their simplicity, as we laugh some more at their realization.

I am thankful for her grace, and at the same time, her bawdiness—allowing us to meet there in that powerful, vulnerable, soft center. I am so grateful and honored that she trusts me with her hypnotherapy sessions in our trades.

The Church Ladies

I am grateful for my “Church Ladies” group of women. We get together about once a month for movie night and to laugh and drink wine/tea. I love that they allow me to be my vulnerable, silly, sometimes sad, self at our gatherings and at church when I see them there too.

I appreciate how one of them, to my statement of “I’m scared,” just took my hand, looked into my eyes and said, “I know you can do this. I know who you are. You can do this.”

I’m grateful for the movies that uplift and inspire us. I am grateful for the soulful, insightful discussions that come from our movies and time together.

The Supplement Angel

I am grateful for my friend who is also my supplement angel, who in her wisdom and knowledge is helping me heal my gut issues. I love her gentle, kind way of being so strong.

I love that she is unafraid to be real. I so appreciate all she has been through that assists her in assisting me and others to wellness.

My Angel Sister

I am grateful for my sweet, Angel sister who trades Reiki sessions with me. I love the way she gently slaps me back to my senses with her wisdom and humor. I love that we have found so many past lives together.

I appreciate that I can trust her with anything and everything, even when I don’t want to. I love hearing her sweet, soft voice in her lovely accent calling me “my dear” with that lilting rolled “r.”

The Weenie Dogs

I am grateful for my weenie dogs. I love the way they are always happy to see me—even when I’ve been gone most of the day and into the night. They keep my feet warm in bed at night, keep me company, amuse me with their antics and comfort me in my bad times.

The Work~Play

I am grateful to my clients—both volunteers and otherwise—because I am always learning from them. I love all the ladies who take my Feminine Essence classes; we always bond and grow together. Those moments are priceless to me.

The Divine

I am grateful to the Divine One—all forms thereof—for holding me sweetly, patiently—even when I think I don’t want to be held. For the Goddess, for taking me into your soft, strong arms and rocking me gently to sleep and comfort and then back awake again, to myself and to the beauty that is now my life.

The Dance

I am grateful to everyone who has ever danced with me. I love dancing, and if you have ever joined me in that joyfulness, I thank you. Thank you for asking me to dance, and thank you for saying yes when I asked you to dance.

The Past to the Present

I am grateful for all that has gone before—people, circumstances, friends, lovers, challenges, lessons, gifts—because they have made me who I am, and who I am is good enough. For all those I didn’t mention specifically: Thank you. I am grateful for you.

The Blessing

Your presence in my life blesses me. My cup runneth over. I have an amazingly happy, wonderful life—because I have done lots of work to make it that way, but mostly because of you. Thank you.

Who and what are you grateful for?

I hope the answer is varied and abundant and fills you right up to the brim and over.

Why I May Have to Break up With Santa.

   santa3

As a child, it was almost too painful to bear when I realized that no one was coming to rescue me.

I think in all the attention given to the Divine Masculine and Feminine these days, we often overlook the paternal/maternal aspects of these archetypes.

I like what Sunyata Satchitananda has to say about the King (Father) aspect of the Divine Masculine:

“His wisdom carries a transpersonal selflessness—like a kind father. He is an agent of the divine having reverence for all life. He is benevolent, evenhanded, calm, caring and thoughtfully present…”

The same aching anxiety woke me this morning. It made my chest hurt. It has been waking me earlier and earlier every morning now—it’s the same pattern every year as we approach the holidays.

As an adult, Christmas has always been a time of dread for me.

This morning when I looked at the clock, with my hand over my heart hoping to calm the frantic, heavy beat and ease the pain, it showed 3:52 a.m., and I quickly rounded up to 4:00 a.m., so as not to make the panic worse.

That’s only one hour before the alarm would go off anyway, I reassured myself.

Instead of adding more fuel to that tight, painful fire, I have learned that when I wake up like this, I do better if instead of trying to force myself back to sleep, I make a decision on how best to see it as a gift of more time.

So I sat up, adjusted the pillows and attempted to meditate. I attempted to explore, once again, and find the source of this yearly, seasonal panic. I know it is connected to the holidays—mainly to Christmas.

Being a hypnotherapist, I have traveled to and opened so many Christmas-related recesses of my own psyche that even I roll my eyes when I begin this process all over again, when I think of even more spelunking through those twisted, dark, mind caves.

In the past and in hopes of healing this issue, I have dredged up gut wrenching, Christmastime past lifetimes of being so poor that I can’t afford anything for my children—so poor that I watch my children die of starvation while I hold them close, already grieving.

The good news about all those lights turned on in all those formerly dark caves, is that I’ve done a lot of healing around the holidays. The bad news? I’m apparently not done.

santa5As I sat in bed in the dark, I tried to distract myself with good Christmas thoughts—the magic, the lights, the hope, Santa…

And that is when I suddenly understood the problem. I opened that mental door and Santa stepped through it in all of his kind, gentle, paternal energy, and I felt absolute rage and betrayal at his smiling, normally benign presence.

I felt betrayed by him. How dare he look so innocent, so loving, so fatherly?

In meditation mode already, I took my foot off the ranting throttle and attempted to coast, to simply let myself feel the pain, the loss, the rage—just observing, on some level, to see where it would take me, what it would present to me for healing. I felt, again, the devastating despair of learning he was not real.santa4

Because you see, as a child, Santa was my last hope.

Growing up an abused and neglected child, Santa represented the hope that I would one day be saved. Even as a child, I had already given up on God. All that praying had not reaped one bit of difference in my life that I could see.

But Santa was God to me—only a much more jolly, happy version.

So Santa, in his all-knowing capacity would hear me asking for rescue. I knew he would save me. I mean it was right there in the song, wasn’t it? “He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”

If he knew all that, then he knew I was in big trouble. He knew that I really needed his help. He knew I deserved a better life. And he delivered goodness and gifts. Surely he could deliver me from this.

As for the requisite “goodness” needed: I was good—as good as a very intelligent, quiet and creative girl-child could figure out how to be in a perverse world where the definition of that word was constantly being twisted to fit the dysfunction du jour.

“Being good” was part of the sick, crazy-making game played by the abusers. “If you’d just be good, then I wouldn’t have to do this.”

So if Santa always knew what I was thinking, then he knew I needed his help. For me he represented all that was good and normal and magical and possible.

He was Father Christmas.

I could easily slide right down into the magical, cinnamon-y, shiny, red-velvet-with-white-fuzzy-trim happiness of Christmas, the hope. I longed for a life like I imagined he could provide—firm but loving, gentle and kind.

And then came that dark, devastating, crushing time when I learned that not only would Santa not help me, he was not even real.

As I lay in the dark, trying to ignore the bright clock display across the room, I let the sense of betrayal and sadness and despair walk all over and through me again, trampling me.

It was hopeless then, final; there would be no one coming to help me.

That same crushing hopelessness I felt upon learning the truth as a child mixed with this new sense of betrayal. I had been betrayed by the archetypical Divine Masculine father figure.

You could very easily think that my problem is not with Santa/Father Christmas. And years ago I would have agreed with you. But I have done the work on my childhood and have even forgiven the abusers, have seen and grasped the bigger, cosmic design of this sad but very informative plan.

I don’t want to be around such dysfunctional people and haven’t spoken to them for years, but I am a survivor, not a victim. I have a damned good, and normally happy, life—except at Christmas time.

Later That Same Day

So now it is almost noon, and I have been awake and aware of this issue for eight hours. And I am switching tense, which as any real writer knows, is verboten. This morning I have let the emotions wash through and over me, wanting them to come up and out.

They’ve been fermenting in there for over 40 years; I don’t feel the need to hang on to them anymore.

Indeed, I’d like them to go away—not just away as in still stuck in here somewhere bumping around and bruising but buried where they can still yank me around by the proverbial nose ring, but away as in healed—done.

I’ve been through anger, sadness, loss of hope, betrayal, rage, despair—all because I feel I have lost my trust, not in men, but rather in maleness itself. And I am having particular issues with the protective, paternal type of energy.

And am I deluding myself? Have I ever had trust in maleness? Will I ever be able to look Christmas in the eye again? Will I ever be able to trust the father aspect of maleness? Or any aspect thereof?

These are the questions I am dealing with right now, as I sit and type.

I am searching for a passage inside me that leads to the place where I forgive Santa for not being real. I want to be able to forgive him for not rescuing me, a helpless child in such dire need.

Some of my favorite people are men—many of them fathers.

A Few Days Later

It’s been several days since I began writing this. I walk the talk of alternative healing in my life. I have spent those days meditating, praying, processing and ended up doing some EMDR and then also some EFT on the issue.

I have found that these tools work wonders for me.

In my quest to heal this, I have also watched several classic Christmas movies—many of them deal with father issues, I’ve noticed. I never made that connection before now.

I want to be comfortable with maleness. I want to be comfortable with the paternal aspect of maleness. More to my heart, I want to be able to love and trust maleness—of all types. I want to let go of this anger, this sense of betrayal. santa1

I will continue to do the work, the digging, which will finally, at some point, release me from this annual, holiday-induced panic. I know I can heal this, because this is what I do.

I am the bulldog in my own life, holding onto to each process, each false belief that comes up until I have shaken it to death—until it no longer holds power over me, and I can spit it out, always surprised to see it laying there so small and limp in its benign shapelessness.

I really want to believe in the magic of Christmas again, the magic and power of fathers. I don’t want to be that cynical, bitter adult who gives up on magic and trust.

I don’t want to be Scrooge.

Not for Women Only—Finding the Feminine Essence.

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A few years ago, when I began my Divine Feminine journey, I could not have told you what a feminine gift might be.

I had only just discovered I was living in and was nearly always coming from a place of habitual, self-protected (usually, angry) masculine energy.

I could not have told you how to get from that masculine stance into one of feminine energy. I did not understand the Divine Feminine at all, nor what was meant by the term “feminine essence.”

David Deida pissed me the bloody hell off; I thought he was misogynistic. I tried reading some of his books and would always end up throwing them across the room in disgust and anger at some point.

They’d bounce off the wall or furniture, and I’d let them lay there and kick them in passing for a few hours—or days.

Then I’d pick up the current, offending volume and try and read some more of it. Over all, and at the least, I found him annoying and wrong.

To get into feminine energy, he prescribed breathing into it, but what the fuck did that mean?!

So there I was, desperately wanting to connect with and breathe into the Divine Feminine, but in my ignorance, had no idea about how to do that.

The World as we Know it

The world basically functions as masculine. It values masculinity over femininity in nearly all things. Masculinity is sought-after and praised more often in our society.

Probably any business plan you know about is masculine. Meditation practice is taught as masculine. For a woman, “dress for success” means dress like a man—or dress like a slightly feminized version of how men dress.

A strong, powerful woman is defined as a woman who acts like a man.

Do we even know what the definition of “a strong woman” is without masculinizing it? It’s a good, valid question, I think.

The Feminine Aspects

The Feminine can show up in many forms/aspects as it exists within all of us. There is the girl-child, the lover, the queen/mother, the priestess, the warrioress, the crone, among other manifestations.

All these facets are within each of us—male and female. I like what Sunyata Satchitananda has to say about these.

Everyone has both masculine and feminine aspects and there is no right or wrong in how these energies are made manifest in anyone’s life.

Some folks, whether male or female anatomy-wise, feel more comfortable living in masculine energy most of the time, and some are more comfortable in the feminine most of the time.

The deciding question about masculine and feminine energy is, I have discovered, simply this: Are you happy with your relationships (of all kinds)? Are you happy with the people you are attracting into your life?

For me, I found the answer was not good when I looked at the type of man I was continuing to attract. I wanted to attract masculine men, but I was only attracting passive/feminine men.

When this continues to happen, you can bet the first thing that needs to be looked at is your own energy.

This can also manifest as the woman already in a relationship who is in a reactive, no-one-seems-to-be-stepping-up-to-take-care-of-this-so-I-better-do-it position. She has taken over “driving” the relationship—and he has allowed her to do that. Both of them need to start paying attention to their energy.

And believe me (because unfortunately I know this from direct, personal, embarrassing experience), it does no good to stand in masculine energy, look at a feminine man and demand he be more masculine.

That only calls up more passive energy in him and more masculine energy in me.

There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Each needs the other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.

A feminine “gift” is defined as anything done in feminine energy that calls up the masculine in anyone else. And to call forth the Divine Feminine energy is to embody the feminine as Divine—the Goddess—in all its many forms.

Giving and receiving masculine and feminine gifts to one another is not about being disrespectful and manipulating. It is about appreciation, about consciously and unconsciously fostering the connection and polarization between masculine and feminine energy to establish and maintain the attraction, the “spark” between two people.

If you don’t have polarization, you will not have that spark of attraction. Instead, for instance, in long-term relationships, you may feel more like good friends and roommates who seldom, if ever, have sex—because that attraction/polarization is missing.

About Feminine Energy

The feminine is about the body, emotions and sensations—the senses. That is why there are so many references to “breathing into” the feminine. The feminine is about allowing, flowing, receiving—and paying attention to and trusting the intuition.

Feminine energy is usually soft—but do not mistake softness for weakness. Think of water—soft and powerful at the same time. Think of the Grand Canyon, carved wide and deep by water, over the years.

Think about Mother Nature—natural, flowing and beautiful—and extremely powerful (earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes).

Unfortunately, many people equate femininity with weakness. To them, to call someone feminine is a put-down. I truly believe it is time we take back the definition of “femininity” to mean what it really does: Powerful and soft all at the same time, allowing—more like The Tao.

When I gave an example of how I could stay in my soft, feminine energy, but at the same time effect a powerful change in direction to my man’s attention and thoughts, he said very soberly—and kind of surprised, “You have power.”

I answered, “yes.” “And you know how to wield it.” Again, “yes.”

And as with all power, it is important to remember: “with great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire

Meaning, it is never okay to use any type of power to hurt or manipulate anyone. It is never acceptable to use someone’s vulnerabilities against them.

Getting into Feminine Energy

Afraid to be feminine, afraid of what will happen if you “let down your guard?” Yeah, I was too.

Remember what Alison Armstrong says (paraphrasing here):  All men come with a built in “protect women” program. Sure, there are a few men out there who want to hurt women, but they are the minority. So when you think of all the men out there, even complete strangers, who would come to help and protect you if you called upon them, you realize the world is, all of the sudden, a much safer place.

It might be important to activate your own masculine energy before beginning to evoke your feminine energy. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

In order to feel safe enough to relax into my feminine energy, I had to first call upon and activate the Divine Masculine aspect inside me.

The Divine Masculine

So close your eyes and focus your attention inside. Ask your Divine Masculine lover to come to you and make himself known. Take your time.

Imagine him standing belly-to-belly with you and breathe. Feel your body responding to him. He is your perfect lover. Keep breathing. Ask him if he is willing to put his arms around you and protect you. He will always agree.

Ask him if he will protect you and be strong for you so that you can feel safe enough to soften and relax into your feminine energy. He will always agree. Allow yourself to feel his strong, protective energy.

Allow yourself to soften into his arms, his strength. Ask him if he will always have your back, always protect you. He will agree (it’s part of his job, as the masculine—it is his pleasure to do so).

At any time, anywhere, when you want to get into your feminine energy, just imagine standing belly-to-belly with your perfect, inner lover and let your body respond to his energy.

Imagine him looking over your shoulder, protecting your back as he holds you. Let yourself soften into him and your breath change into what it naturally does—full, deep, powerful, sexy. You will absolutely and instantly go into your feminine energy.

Once you activate your inner, masculine lover so that you feel safe enough to be feminine, another great way to get into your feminine energy is to focus your attention on your own body.

Tune into the body—especially the womb space. And as Rachel Jayne Groover reminds us in her book, Powerful and Feminine, everyone has a womb “space” even if you don’t have a physical womb. Focus your attention on your womb space and breathe into and from deep in your belly.

Dance, move, enjoy the movements of your body. Listen to music and let the music inform your body about how it should move. Stretch like a cat, slowly—have fun with the body.

Focus on your emotions—call them up to be identified; feel them—let them out. A strong, powerful woman does not shy away from emotions. She knows they are essential. She knows an important part of being feminine is being emotional.

She learns to honor those emotions, to be proud of them. She begins to know that she need never be ashamed of them—even the so-called “dark” emotions:  anger, fear, pain, anxiety, etc.

She never lets anyone shame her for her emotions. How? Simply state, with your own calm, and even kind, conviction, “I refuse to let you shame me for my emotions. I feel things. If you are not comfortable with that, then you might want to leave.”

She knows emotions come and go. She knows that to let them out doesn’t mean she will build a house in the land of sadness, for instance, and dwell there forever. She knows rather that calling those emotions up and out allows them to be heard, seen and felt, so that they can then leave.

It is only when we don’t allow them to come out that they become stuck in us, causing all sorts of problems on many levels.

Meditate Like a Woman

Focus on the womb space and stay in the body while meditating. Most meditation traditions focus on a very masculine way of meditating. They talk about watching the emotions come and go from a disassociated place, from an outside sort of place. They instruct you not to actually emote/feel them.

The goal of many types of masculine meditations is to take you up and out of the body to some “spiritual place.”

Try staying in the body instead. That is the feminine way. Focus on the womb; incorporate movement or dance too if it feels correct for you. Focus on the womb and breathe and luxuriate in the soft but heavy and full feeling of breath inside your body, of energy moving throughout the body and concentrating in the womb.

Let the energy/breath make love to you—have its way with you. Some women even report orgasms from meditating in this fashion—not because they are thinking sexy thoughts necessarily, but because the body itself is enjoying and celebrating the breath and energy and the energy becomes too much to continue to hold—it is released by orgasm.

This is very different than kundalini energy/rising, although both can be very powerful.

Practice Appreciation of all things Masculine

Another very quick way to get into your feminine energy is simply to notice and appreciate anything, all things, masculine. And the quickest way to call up the masculine energy in a man is to genuinely ask for his help. In fact, use the word “help” to get his attention and his assistance.

The next most powerful word to remember is “love.” Speak in feminine. Use your own, even flowery, words to live your life. The men around you will appreciate it and respond beautifully.

Yes, this can be accomplished even in the board/conference room—speak from your power, your belly, your womb.

Appreciating the masculine is for all ages. Thank an elderly man for holding the door for you. Ask a young boy you know if he would be so kind as to help you in some way—perhaps carry something for you.

The age does not matter; the type of relationship does not matter.

Making these feminine-centered changes can seem very foreign and forced at first, but soon it becomes a lovely way of life. I can’t imagine living my life now without being a fountain of praise for the masculine.

And until you get used to the new way of being, just remember, you can practice on anyone. In fact, practicing on strangers gives you more leeway to “fail.” Give yourself permission to fail and to make mistakes.

Start small:  Appreciate the arm muscles on the 7-year old with his mom in front of you in the grocery checkout line. Comment on the nice manners of the teenage boy who makes way for you to go first through the door. Make eye contact and say, “thank you, sir,” to him sincerely.

Don’t be pressured by our very masculine world into giving up your femininity. Use your own feminine words, gestures, clothes, energy. A powerfully feminine woman leans into the fear and vulnerability it takes to make these changes in herself.

Then she not only leans in, she walks right into the emotions, the fear, the vulnerability, knowing that emotions make her a stronger woman, knowing that vulnerability is not a weakness but pure courage, knowing that she is balancing herself and the world.

She becomes her own force.

Not for Men Only—How to “Take” Your Woman.

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“Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman’s toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.”
~ Marianne Williamson

Your woman wants to be taken by you—ravished.

The two most important things to remember are:

1. Ravishing a woman comes from inside you—your heart, your belly. It really has nothing to do with being naked together. You must be strong in your masculine energy. So ravishing a woman starts way before you get to the sexy bits. It starts by you being a man of integrity that she can count on.

2. You must be fully present and focused on your woman, on loving her open to herself and to the Divine. Don’t let your concentration waver while ravishing her. When ravishing her, remember: Sex is just one more route to the Divine, the sacred. Or it could just be a quick, hot fuck up against the wall. Whichever it is—or somewhere in between—just stay completely focused on her.

“The truth is a woman cannot help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values. By “honor,” I am talking about a woman’s feelings of safety/security, respect, and attraction. She desires to be in his company. She wants to feel safety in the strength of his conviction and the adventure in his unalterable passions.”
~ Steve Horsmon, Good Guys 2 Great Men

When you show your masculine energy by being assertive and tender but forceful, it tells her that you want her and that she can trust you to ravish her. If she has to initiate everything (sex, kisses, conversations, who’s picking up the kids from soccer practice, etc.), it is so very unflattering to her and she feels she can’t trust you to take care of these things.

It makes her feel like you don’t want to be with her, like you don’t desire her—like you aren’t interested—like you can’t be bothered to put any effort into showing your care and affection for her.

Patient is good; we women like patience, but if patience actually turns out to be never, that is not patience. That is procrastination, ignorance, resistance, passiveness and/or laziness.

For instance, I once dated a man who was so passive that when we kissed, he never put his tongue in my mouth. If I wanted our tongues to touch, I had to make that happen.

Then I began thinking that I was just being too impatient, that if I waited, he would get around to it at some point. Maybe he was just really patient and really good at foreplay, right?

So I waited—for several years. He never did put his tongue in my mouth. He never initiated sex. He seemed afraid to touch me. It was so unflattering to me. It translated to me as him not wanting me, not desiring me.

I constantly questioned my desirability. Did he not find me loveable, desirable? And if not, why was I with him, exactly? (You notice this is in the past tense; I am not with him anymore, primarily for this reason.)

I know now that I played a really big part in this problem by not knowing how to live from my own feminine energy and thereby call him up to be his best, assertive masculine self.

This was also the man that when I told him I loved to be taken/ravished/fucked sometimes too, simply thrusted harder and faster.

Gentlemen, that in and of itself, is not what “ravishing” means. Ravishing comes from your heart and belly, expressed as forceful tenderness, playful strength; it is a way of life, not just something you decide to do in bed once every few months.

Establishing Trust

If she loves and trusts you, she wants to be ravished by you.

The kind of ravishing I am talking about applies to women with whom you are intimate and who know and trust you.

Yes, we all know about sex where we don’t really know our partner—about the urgent, fierce (sometimes desperate) connection that is like “ravishing” someone. That discussion is for another time, perhaps.

“…if you don’t trust your man because he is undirected, scattered, ambiguous or otherwise weak in his masculine energy, this will undercut your relationship, reducing your passion, your sexual attraction and your trust of each other.”
~ David Deida

When a woman is embodying her Feminine essence, she will be fully in her body and she will be emotional. To be truly feminine is to be fully emotional—for better or worse. Get used to it, with the ultimate goal of being able to embrace and even welcome it.

How to do that?

“Keep your breath full. Keep your body strong. Keep your attention present. No matter what your woman says or does, give her love. Press your belly into her. Smile. Scream and then lick her face. Do whatever is takes to crack the shell of her closure, get your love inside that crack, and touch her heart. Learn to enjoy her anger, her tears, her silent hardness. The world will give you the same at times. The way you react to your woman’s chaos reflects the way you react to the chaos in the world.”
~David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

To be truly masculine is to be firm and certain even in the face of uncertain feminine emotions. This is how to establish trust with your woman (remember, trust = sex). Not to just appear certain, but to be truly certain. When a man lets the emotions of the feminine pull him out of his certainty and center, the woman will not feel safe with him, and she will lose respect for, and trust in, him.

The wildness of the feminine needs the strength, stillness and calm of the masculine. If you get upset every time she gets upset and just because she does, she will start to lose confidence and trust in you, she will begin to feel unsafe.

If she doesn’t trust you, being ravished is too scary for her. And this fear will most often look like anger, cynicism, sarcasm and withdrawal from you and your touch.

There’s a reason the Masculine and Feminine polarize each other.

The Masculine

He is in his head and is directed, goal-oriented and grounding for her, he is the immovable cliff against which she can throw her waves of emotion; she needs that cliff, that strength. She needs to know that he not only tolerates her wildness, but that he loves, welcomes and cherishes it, because it makes her female, woman—different from him.

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.”
~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

He does not try to change her, does not try and make her think or act like a man, does not defeminize her by calling her “hysterical” or tell her, “You’re upset. I’ll be back to talk when you have settled down and are rational.” This is subtle de-feminization at its worst.

The Feminine

She is in her heart and womb and is love incarnate for him; she inspires him into his heart, into love, simply by being fully, emotionally feminine. She is the well of love, into which he fears he will fall and never return. Yet he must master this fear and be strong for her anyway. It is the only way to insure her trust.

“We have to let go of justifying emasculating men.” ~ Alison Armstrong

She does not expect him to live by his intuition and emotions like she does. She does not belittle him because he can’t always find and express his emotions readily—that would emasculate him. She does not call him too harsh, too cold, too distracted away from her by life/business.

She respects his “otherness” exactly because it is the polar opposite of her, because it calls up her femininity when he is strongly masculine, and she needs that from him. She knows how to get him back into his heart, his belly—how to inspire him from his “distractions” by simply being her true feminine self.

Get Ready

Gentlemen, here are some ravishing things to try—with a warning: These things will only work if you do them with complete love and confidence and if you begin and stay totally present for your woman during these sessions. Your focus and directed attention are part of your gift to your woman. Fill her up emotionally with your appreciation, attention, support, love. If you waver, she will feel that and will lose confidence and trust in you (remember: no trust = no sex).

Focus is key. And honestly, don’t you want to show her how much you love and cherish her?

I know it takes a big pair to initiate and pull off some of these. It puts you on vulnerable, shaky ground, doesn’t it? I can appreciate that.

Remember, vulnerability is not a weakness; it is pure courage.

Ladies:  If your man even tries this type of thing, you damned well better show your appreciation to him!

That doesn’t mean having sex with him when you are not willing and able, by any means, but it does mean you don’t roll your eyes, you don’t push him away, you don’t assume that all men ever want is sex (and by the way, why are you doing those things to someone you say you love and respect?).

At the very least, tell him how impressed you are by his courage, how much you love the fact that he wants to express his love for you by being close to you, and his willingness to go to such lengths to please you—and ask for a rain check.

Why must you show appreciation?

Remember that man I talked about that was so passive? I once drove to his house in a trench coat and very little else underneath (okay, a few strategic classics like sexy, over the knee boots, etc.), obeying the traffic rules very, very carefully because the thought of getting pulled over by a police officer while I was dressed like a prostitute was laughably horrible, came into his house and was soon thereafter almost completely humiliated because he would not join me in this fun/sexiness.

For whatever reason (did it embarrass him?), he was not happy with me and the “gift” I tried to give him. He could not allow himself to be that vulnerable, perhaps?

I have never tried that again, even though he did, at some point, apologize for not “helping me out with that,” as he put it. I am, in fact, quite hesitant to ever try it again because of his reaction—or lack thereof.

Do not do this to your man when he takes the initiative and gives you this gift!

And Ladies, when your man stays focused on you and ravishes you, let his attention and focus call up your feminine energy. Let your fears go and your heart and body open to him; allow him to fill you up emotionally and physically. Meet him right there by allowing and expressing your emotions—whatever they turn out to be.

Your emotions are a gift to your man. Trust him. He can handle it.

To cue your man you are open to this sort of thing, stay in your feminine energy (think Marilyn Monroe and breathe from your belly), and consider a phrase something like,

“Oh my god baby, I really need you to fuck me right now—hard.”

Now wait and let him come to you. Don’t go to him—stay in your receiving, allowing feminine energy. Physically lean back, even, if you must, to stay in your receiving mode.

The Sexy Bits

~Before you kiss your woman, keep your mouth close to hers but don’t kiss her yet, keep eye contact, press your belly into hers then let your body forcefully, while still protecting her, push her backwards into the wall behind her. Move her backwards against the wall with your body tension and hold her there with your entire body, keep eye contact, breathe with her—and only then do you kiss her—forcefully. Bend your knees slightly and press up, and against her, pushing her up and into the wall. If sizes/heights/etc. make it possible, lift her up against the wall, so she can wrap her legs around your waist.

~If possible, lift and move your woman to reposition you both during sex. Women love to be lifted and repositioned during sex.

~Emotional Ravishment: When your woman is upset (sad, angry, etc.), just walk up to her calmly (even if she’s upset at you) and take her in your arms—firmly. Don’t wait for her to ask you to hold her. Just do it. Press your belly against hers and stand firm and strong—in your heart and mind, as well as in your physical stance. Breathe from your belly. Imagine that you are the cliffs against which her waves (anger, sadness, etc.) are crashing. If she struggles, yells, or expresses more emotions, hold her anyway until she softens and relaxes.

This can lead to sexual ravishment.

Hint: This may take a while the first time you do it. If you do this often, it will take less and less time for her to soften into you each time. This is an invaluable gift to give your woman, and she may be very shy to ask for this from you, because she feels it is a big thing to ask for. If you can give your woman this gift on a regular basis, you will absolutely win her heart. We women need a “release” for all these emotions that are a constant way of life for us.

These emotions can be overwhelming. If your woman trusts you and is able to be her vulnerable, feminine, open self, this emotional release may happen at orgasm too (this is often why she cries/sobs during/after orgasm sometimes. It’s good crying, even though it may not look that way. It is her way of releasing. And it shows she trusts you if she does this. Don’t be upset by this. Do ask her if she’s okay and how you can help. Do NOT belittle her for this! Remember, the feminine IS the emotions).

~During sex, take her hands, move her hands away from her body and hold her arms out from her body—either above her head or out to the sides against the bed/wall. Use some weight; don’t let her move her own hands until you let them move.

~From David Deida:  Start out slowly and gently, then at some point, “pounce” and pin her beneath you. Open her legs with yours before she opens them for you. Hold her wrists with your hands. Keep your focus. Don’t get distracted by her lovely body parts, even as you caress them—love her deeper than just the body. Stay focused. Breathe with her. Make eye contact. Tease her. Be tender but forceful.

~In the middle of sex, just stop. Hold her down with your weight, your presence. Press into her. Don’t let her move under you. Keep eye contact. Breathe together. Only begin moving again when you decide to.

~Initiate Middle-of-the-Night Sex “If you know how to do this right (slooowly, softly, gently), it is one of the sexiest things in the world. We love the feeling of being touched between states of consciousness, of arousal before awareness.” Am I awake? Dreaming? This gentle ravishing is one of my faves—to have an orgasm bring me up out of sleep? Delicious.

~Remember, there is a difference between making love and fucking. We women know the difference and we love a good mixture of both.

“If you fuck your man more often, he will make love to you more often.”
~Barbara DeAngelis

~This is a perfect 45-second example of ravishment:

And from sharing this type of info with clients and friends and collecting feedback, I have received lots of opinions and ideas about ravishing your woman.

From a man:
“This is one of the hardest things for “nice guys” to do, as they are trapped between respect, being nurturing, sensitive, and loving on one hand, but full of desire and natural needs on the other (if they haven’t suppressed that into submission as many men feel they have to).

One of the most powerful things a partner ever said to me was, “That was really nice, but sometimes, I just want you to fuck me. That makes me feel desired and beautiful, too.”

So many relationships end because of this…

So once in a while, guys, look at your woman, focus on your desire and the complete emotional and physical awesomeness of her, let your desire come, and go after it. If your focus is on her and not a shallow selfish need, you will communicate your “want” of her in the right way. Make love to her as if the physical is a metaphor for the spiritual/emotional. Be completely focused on her and let nothing sway you from your purpose to open her heart as you open her body. (Even if you don’t have sex, the intension alone can save your relationship if your focus is on her and not getting your little man wet—just don’t take any denial personally, and be consistent in showing her your desire for her—all of her).”

From the women:
“Love me into submission! And I will love you into conquering the world. This just makes my heart sing.”

“I do (want to be ravished). Very much. Feeling a partner’s desire and passion so tangibly is a huge turn on. I express mine and I want the same.”

If you need more info about how to find and stay in your masculine energy or ravish a woman, find a relationship coach, read David Deida’s books, Steve Horsmons’ website, or Wayne Levine’s.

Find out how your woman wants to be ravished—and happy ravishing!
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A version also published at elephant journal.