Category Archives: fuck

You Are Here.

loss

How did I get here? That’s what I have been asking myself for the last few months. I am on, what I hope is, the tail-end of the year from hell.

In January my partner’s passive aggressive ex blatantly let me know that she was still after him. He and I had been together for over four years at that point. I have been putting up with her bullshit for over four years, hoping she would not only catch a clue, but that she would give up her childish, manipulative, passive aggressive games. To find out so obviously that she was still hanging on and still happy to make my life hell was not a good start to my 2019.

In March we went on a vacation that included air BnB’s with scented plug-ins that inflamed my multiple chemical sensitivities, sending my health into a downward spiral and making it a necessity to wear a mask for several months. I still carry it around with me, because it only takes a few seconds of smelling someone’s synthetic perfume—or even clothes washed in scented laundry detergent—to make my skin start burning and itching and the coughing start.

Soon after returning from our trip, it became evident that it was time for my old cat and dog to be helped into their next life. I couldn’t justify putting one of them down without the other, because they were both in pain—despite both being on pain meds—were both old, and were both peeing all over the house. I was exhausted mentally and physically, trying to take care of them, not stress them out, keep my partner soothed about animals peeing in the house all the time, and trying to take care of myself.

So, in April I called our veterinarian and discussed it with her. She agreed with my sad conclusion and said she’d come to the house so they wouldn’t have to be stressed with any travel.

It was one of the saddest days of my life. I still mourn their leaving and am crying right now as I type. I miss my weenie-boy, Mr. Stormy, and Miss Bella the crazy, one-eyed, feral, pirate cat.

In May, I received a nasty email from someone who had never had the decency or balls to confront me in person, like an adult, to tell me about all the (apparently) horrible things I’d done to her. She told me how bad a person I am/was and then proceeded to tell me what I should do to remedy my many problems. She advised that for the sake of everyone around me, I should quit my job and not inflict myself upon them anymore.

She wrote it as a nice, this-is-for-your-own-good type of letter—you know, that passive aggressive, “sweet” style that ensures that anyone besides me reading it would assume she really did have my best interest at heart. I never responded, but it sent me into a new tailspin.

Meanwhile, I was still grieving the loss of my pets, and my health was still suffering. I couldn’t seem to get back to my own “normal” on the scent issue. Every little sniff of perfume, laundry detergent (clothes folks were wearing), cologne, scented plug-in, etc. sent me back down the proverbial rabbit hole. I ended up having to wear my mask almost all the time when out in public (this is not a fun thing to do, trust me).

Another “meanwhile” came in the form of having to navigate constant big transitions at work this year—with dangerous undercurrents of mistrust and, what still feels like, hate. The stress of having people always think the worst of me has taken a huge toll on my life, happiness, and confidence.

As fallout from losing my pets, in the summer I visited an ex from years ago to get to see his cat—one of Miss Bella’s kittens from years ago. I just needed to be in the presence of something Bella had created. I missed having pets so much. The house felt so empty and weird, and I couldn’t seem to get over how empty my life felt without my fur babies.

Mr. Maui lived with my daughter and me until he was about four years old, then we asked my ex if he wanted to take him. I found out when I visited him that my ex’s early-onset dementia had progressed to such a state that he did not recognize me. A few weeks later, I found out he was being moved out of his home of 40 years to a memory care facility, and it broke my heart to think of him losing his life that way. I began grieving again—or maybe just added another loss to the pile.

Then in August, my partner of five years told me he was going through what looked and sounded like a personal existential crisis. He began examining his life, and began the exhausting work of figuring out what he needs to do with himself, his life, what his purpose is, etc., to the degree that we are not living together, so that he has the space and time to figure things out—even though he continually (in the face of my over the proverbial top, stressed-out worrying) assures me that we are still a couple.

Despite his assurances, my (normal for women) over-active amygdala continues to talk me into losing faith, and I have difficulty believing anything positive right now.

It is October now, and I ride my bike as much, as long, and as far as I can each day to keep from imploding, to keep from disappearing. When in doubt, pedal it out, right? That has worked for me for years. It is still a good practice. Last week while riding the Poudre Trail, the question surfaced again, “How did I get here?”

How did I let my life slip into this unhappy, unhealthy, unnatural state? I must have been so very oblivious and/or asleep to have let this happen on this large of a scale. I know I am responsible for my life, but it feels like, somewhere along the way, I handed the tiller over to someone who doesn’t give a fuck about all those sandbars and rocks up ahead in this stormy, choppy sea. I’ve been crashing into them for months now, limping along trying to survive each hit, each ding, each rupture. I’m taking on too water.

I am tired. I don’t sleep well—or I sleep way too much. I am raw and stressed; I cry all the time. I am fearful. I am depressed. It takes gargantuan effort to reply to normal, simple, everyday questions without shattering and flying into tiny little shards of grief, sadness, anger, oblivion, & regret:  the shrapnel of too much stress for way too long without a break and no relief in sight.

I spend my time alternating between working my ass off to stay busy and preoccupied, numbing-out by watching too much Netflix, working on my own shit when I’m able (self-hypnosis, BWRT, EFT, EMDR, I’d like to buy a vowel, Alex), trying to meditate and remember those things (where are they?!) that make me happy, not giving a shit what anyone thinks about anything I do or say, caring way too much about what everyone thinks about what I say and do, wanting to move far away and try that stupid geographical fix thing (which everyone knows does not work), breathing, sleeping as much as possible, staying home as much as possible, going out to do things I (might) love to do, (did I mention the crying thing?), obsessively watching the movie Interstellar, and talking to amazing girlfriends who are sweet and funny and make me laugh—even at myself.

How did I get here?

While pedaling, the answer came, “It doesn’t matter HOW you got here. YOU ARE HERE. How are you going to get OUT of here? That is the important question now.”

I saw myself inside my head under a big, black, not-to-proportion “You are here” arrow on a directional map.

Yes, there I am. Under that big arrow. You are here. How the fuck am I gonna get out of here? I don’t know.

Yet.

“That’s me in the corner. That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.”  ~REM, Out of Time

Dementia Grief.

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Mr. Maui

What if you woke up one day and a bunch of your friends showed up unannounced to take you out for the day to have fun, and then at the end of the day they took you to a totally different place, and told you that this is where you would be living from now on and that you could not return to your old life?

This is what just happened to a long-time friend of mine. He has early-onset dementia and has been struggling to live in the “regular” world for a while. He has steadily become more forgetful in the past few years, to the point of not even remembering me the last time I went to visit him.

I totally understand and support the move his sisters and friends carefully arranged for his benefit. And I know absolutely that he will be taken care of. I feel better about him now, knowing he is in a memory care facility that will ensure his comfort and safety.

And I wonder how much he understands and remembers about his former life. Does he realize that he is never going back to the house he has owned for over 40 years; does he remember his cat of eight years, and does he know they will likely not see each other again? His house is being cleaned to get ready for an estate sale. Then the house itself will be sold.

What does he know and not know? What does he remember and not? That is the insidious nature of dementia, isn’t it? And everyone knows, according to the standard safe practices of our day, that the best thing for those with dementia is to, at some point, make sure the dementia-sufferer is kept as safe and as happy as possible.

When I last saw him, he was quite frustrated and agitated. He was paranoid, as anyone would be, I suppose, who can’t remember people and events. I mean if you can’t remember where you put your shoes, and you have looked everywhere, then maybe you really would begin to think that someone is coming into your house to take your shoes. What other explanation would there be if you can’t remember that you can’t remember, if you are trusting yourself, but don’t remember that you can’t trust yourself anymore?

I have a deep fear of dementia, I think, because that last paragraph gives me the actual chills. And we, ourselves, at some point, would never really know if we have dementia or not, would we? We are at the mercy of those around us to tell us what is going on. And that involves great trust, doesn’t it?

Wow.

He is an introvert, and he valued living by himself, spending whole days in silence, alone. My sincere hope for him at this point is that he actually doesn’t remember too much. Because if he does, I know he is grieving mightily. If he remembers too much, then I know he is grieving the loss of his privacy, his home, his kitty, his huge workshop with all of his wood-working equipment, and his life.

Maybe it’s just me grieving for him. Maybe – hopefully – it’s just me that is trying to fill the hole in the universe that was his life. Maybe. I hope. I pray.

Meanwhile, my kitty has been returned. He went to live with my friend about 8 years ago when Maui was 5 years old. And now he is back with me. I lost my last pet in April, and now Maui is filling the house with lovely, sweet kitty energy again. I feel him missing my friend, so I cuddle him close and leave my tears in his fur. Life cycles around and around us, doesn’t it?

The trick is, can we ride that cycle with grace and humor and acceptance, or do we fight it and make ourselves and everyone around us miserable?

I don’t know what to do right now except mourn for my friend and be happy and relieved for him all at the same time. The Universe marches on, and time rushes at us like a metal measuring tape rushing back to its little shiny metal house we’re holding, rolling itself up at high speed, ready to snap off a finger if we’re not careful.

Godspeed, Stephen.

Your Scented Plug-in & Laundry Detergent Contain Cancer-Causing Ingredients.

chemicals

We are traveling, and I am sick. I’m sick because everywhere we stay, they use Glade Plug-ins and other myriad products that contain synthetic/petrochemical fragrance.

We are staying in Air BnB’s. I have a constant headache, dizziness, burning eyes, skin, and throat. I also have a difficult time thinking and talking – my brain does not function correctly when poisoned by this shit. And after being exposed to this crap for a while, it starts to produce anxiety – and anger – in me.

I did not have this problem when we traveled to Panama last year. In Panama, we stayed in Air BnB’s also and a couple of hotel rooms.

I use mostly unscented – or naturally scented – products at home, because I am allergic to synthetic solvents and chemicals. I have been diagnosed as “chemically sensitive.” And I try and keep products to a minimum.

It is my goal to have one or two products throughout the house that do everything – from washing dishes to cleaning the toilets. Mostly I use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds – usually diluted. It contains spruce essential oil, so is not completely scent free, but it is mild and all-natural.

I have not used body soap for years. And I do not stink. I smell like a human. I would bet that you have no fucking idea what a human really smells like, do you? And you don’t know, because all your life you have been using synthetically-fragranced products in every part of your life.

Why is America obsessed with adding synthetic fragrance to absolutely everything? Are we so afraid of what we, as humans, actually smell like? There is the constant brainwashing – via commercials – that everything in our world must smell “fresh” – whatever the fuck that means. And that “freshness” can only, apparently, be achieved via synthetic means – petrochemically.

Think about all the scented products you use. Here are just the few I can think of right now:  bath soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, bath salts, bath oils, bubble bath, bath bombs, lotions – for body and face (and then there are the “specialty” lotions and creams for just your elbows, or only for under the eyes, etc.), cosmetics (base, powder, eye shadow, eye pencils, mascara, eye liner, lipstick, lip gloss, etc.), perfume, cologne, deodorant (ironic), antiperspirant (which contains aluminum, along with the petrochemicals), body powder, foot powder, foot spray, vaginal products (spray, douche, powder), hair spray, hair gel, hair mousse, hair oil, hair pomade, body sprays, aftershave lotion, shave cream, shave lotions (for before, during, and after shaving).

These all have added fake/synthetic scents – and they usually all have difference scents.

Meaning, all of your different product scents are competing with each other and creating a petrochemical cloud on and around you everywhere you go. Because of you, I sometimes can’t eat at restaurants, can’t sit through concerts, etc.

Now think about all the household products that have scent added or are toxic in and of themselves, because of the ingredients they contain. There are hundreds of cleaners – for the sink, the toilet bowl, the bathtub, for floors, for the kitchen only, for the deck and driveway, the car, etc., laundry products (detergent, softeners, dryer sheets, etc.), dish soap, dishwasher soap, dishwasher additives for spot-free dishes, etc. There are all the pesticides made specifically for home use. One for ants, another for roaches, another for wasps and hornets. Let’s not leave out mice and rats and termites.

How many products do we actually need that say they clean, disinfect, and “freshen” the toilet bowl, your house, your body?

Then there are the plug-ins, the sprays, the diffusers, the scented candles, the “deodorizers” that have nothing to do with actually deodorizing. Let’s be clear here:  They do not get rid of odors. They cover up odors. They numb your olfactory system so completely that you become unable to smell anything – including the synthetic fragrances themselves, which makes us use even more of them.

Toxic. Poison. Synthetic.

You are killing brain cells, people. You are killing your children’s brain cells too.

And if you want to kill your own brain cells, that’s up to you. But you are also killing everyone else’s when you go out in public. “The problem with fragrance products is not the scent but the properties of synthetic chemicals that they are derived from such as petroleum or coal tar.”

The American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences released a PDF document called FRAGRANCE IN THE WORKPLACE IS THE NEW SECOND-HAND SMOKE which says, “A recent analysis of 6 top selling laundry products and air fresheners found ‘nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were emitted from the products and five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants which the Environmental Protection Agency considers to have no safe exposure level’ (Steineman, 2008).”

In my opinion, it is amazing that we are not all chemically sensitive. We have overloaded our neurons so completely with synthetic shit (of all varieties), it’s a wonder we can still function at all.

I’m tired of being sick so everyone else can have sheets, towels, clothes, skin, hair, breath, carpet, cars, homes, businesses, armpits, and lives that smell like a fake “spring meadow.” WTF, people? Are you that fucking afraid to smell reality?!

Why is America (is it everywhere else too?) obsessed with this shit?!

I can’t go outside my home without being bombarded by your stinky, chemical, synthetic, solvent, brain-killing, cancer-producing, skin-burning, throat-closing bullshit assaulting me. Do you really need to wear all that perfume? Do you really need eye-wateringly strong clothes detergent? What the hell are you afraid of?

Please have a look at the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation’s website and educate yourself on the health damaging effects of synthetic fragrances.

Also take a look at Women’s Voices for the Earth to find out, besides stopping using poisons on your body, your children, and in your home, what you can do to help stop this synthetic petrochemical assault.

You are wearing so much perfume and products that when you walk in, I have to leave to be able to breathe, to be able to function.

And all Air BnB owners, for God’s sake, STOP with the fucking Plug-ins! At one place we stayed, that was not over 600 square feet, their were two of them, for cripe’s sake.

Owners, you are just inviting a law suit, too, with that shit, by the way. That same PDF notes: “There have been many lawsuits pertaining to MCS and synthetic fragrance sensitivity filed using the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.”

And if you absolutely must have fragrance in your life, have you ever thought about the fact that there are actually natural fragrances and methods that you could be using? Used responsibly, they will not kill brain cells or make you and your children sick.

Finding Beauty Again.

DSCN7804

My daughter recently got married to a wonderful, wonderful young man.

They had dated—and even lived together part of the time—for a little over four years. The proposal, the engagement, the planning, the wedding shower, and the wedding were beautiful things to behold, as my daughter set about, in her very organized (learned from me?) way, to make the wedding of her dreams manifest.

And it worked. Her dad helped them some with the money part, but she and her man paid for most of it. She planned and worked and created for almost two years, and it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been too.

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(I have intimate knowledge of both of these dresses, as I did all of the alterations—and additions—to make hers fit her so beautifully, and I made mine from scratch.)

It was fun, loving, and profound. I got to connect again with my brother—who I have not seen or talked to in 17 years. I got to authentically and really connect with my daughter’s dad, who I have not been married to since my daughter was about two years old (that’s about 26 years ago now). I got to “give” my daughter to a trustworthy, hard working, good, good man. I got to see my child and her new husband surrounding by so much love and admiration and respect.

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I am so very happy, happy, happy for—and with—her. Throughout her life, she has constantly amazed and delighted me (dare I say? she might be the perfect daughter!).

And I am devastated. Emotionally wrung out. Read: crying jags, depression, anxiety, joy, anger, confusion, raw, relief. Etc.

I am back to where I was when she moved three minutes (literally three minutes from my house, driving) away into a condo from where she went to college to get her undergrad. I was devastated.

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At that time, I spent a lot of time to try and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my now-on-the-tail-end-of life. I started my Etsy shop, I started dating again, etc.

Apparently, it’s time to do that again. And I don’t want to. But I will. I am.

I remind myself, with this latest emotional tornado, that nothing has changed with her and her man. They still live in the house they bought a few months ago, in the same place, work at the same place, do the same things, etc., etc., etc. I talk to her the same amount. I still see the lovely photos of them on Facebook on their adventures.

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The only difference? She added a new (beautiful!) ring to her left hand. She is not even going to legally change her last name until next year, because they are traveling internationally part of the rest of this year and already have tickets booked in her maiden name.

But still I feel like I have somehow “lost” my only child. . . tears threaten every time I think about it too much.

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And now here I go again! Who am I? Am I no longer a mom? What kind of mom am I now? What do I want to do with my life? Why is this so hard?

Help is on the Way?

On Friday mornings, I usually take some time to wander around the internet and find inspiring blogs and websites. I sit with my morning smoothie and let myself be lead to wherever I land. I veg, relax, take my time, enjoy myself.

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This morning I found a blessing of a blog, and much of it sounded like I was reading my own mail. I am in love with Tamera Beardsley‘s lovely, authentic, hit-me-in-the-heart blog. I want to run away with her blog and get married to it on a beach somewhere with just the starry night as our witness.

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Check out her blog and be inspired and blessed and renewed—and humbled—by her strength, her insights, and her willingness to be vulnerable. I took her advice and once again started taking photos of things I find beautiful.

So, with her blog as a new inspiration, and with my recent tornado still whirling around me, I must begin again to define myself. Ugh! And. Yay! (But really, Ugh!)

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Today I am going to immerse myself in upcycled fabrics and create a pair of “don’t get out of bed pants” out of a thrift store sheet—or maybe a table cloth (pattern from Tamera Frampton), because that’s how I feel these days. I’d rather just stay in bed—but when I can’t, I’d rather be creating.

Let’s see where this journey takes me this time. . . (she said nervously).

Love and light and Godspeed, my lovelies.

What is your emotional journey these days?

The Pussyhat ~ The official hat to wear for the March on Washington.

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Update on 1/20/17:

Today I donated $663 to the ACLU as promised from the sale of pussyhats for the Women’s March on Washington. Thanks for all your purchases! Thanks for helping make this a substantial fund raiser! Thanks for standing up!

I am exhausted from hours of making hats! 🙂 I sold close to 400 pussyhats – of different kinds:  crocheted, upcycled from sweaters, and the fleece version. And I have scheduled a massage for next week. 🙂

My gratitude to you. Godspeed.

 

Join the millions of people standing up for human rights!

I make a crocheted version of the official pussyhat that will be worn by women participating in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017.

We wear this pussyhat to show our support and solidarity with women (and all people) as we march for our human and civil rights in America – and all over the Planet.

Can’t go to DC that day? No worries, there are marches forming all over America.

Can’t attend a march but want to show your solidarity and support anyway? Wear this hat now and especially on January 21, 2017!

I’m not waiting for January 21st to wear mine. I wear mine every day.

Want your own pussyhat? Who can blame you? They’re awesome, right? Purchase on Etsy.

Guaranteed delivery by regular U.S. mail by January 18, 2017.

10% of profits go to the ACLU.

“This is a HUMAN RIGHTS MARCH… to show our strength, power and courage and demonstrate our disapproval of the new president and his values in a peaceful march. All are welcome. This event is inclusive of all and specifically centers around those who need this support the most: people of color, immigrants, Muslims, the LGBT community, disabled citizens, trans people, and of course women. We are child friendly. “

How Women Routinely Castrate Men.

man-couple-people-woman

A few weeks ago I witnessed something that broke my heart.

A watched and listened as a mom emasculated two preschool boys. I was horrified. They looked unaffected by it, but that made me even sadder, because that told me they are accustomed to it.

I watch emasculation of men happening all the time. And it breaks my heart every time. But this was especially horrible to me, because they were so young. Because even when young, males still need the same things from us, as women, as they do when they are older. They need our trust and appreciation. They need us to allow them to make us happy.

Males just want to make us happy.

I used to blindly emasculate men too, gawd help me. I didn’t know anything different. I never questioned my treatment of men and my beliefs about them as I was growing up, as I was having relationships with them – relationships of all kinds.

This mom was subbing for an absent teacher and therefore didn’t know the usual preschool routine. She came in the office with them and said, “These guys are telling me the recycling goes in here, but I think they’re lying to me.” She looked at me in expectation, expecting me to sympathize with her, to join her in emasculating them.

That’s what we are taught to do, isn’t it, ladies? We are socialized into joining together against males, no matter their age. We are expected to roll our eyes too when women express their disappointment with their man, or men in general.

I wonder if I had a horrified look on my face. I tried to keep it neutral as I defended them, “Of course they aren’t lying! This is where the recycling goes.” I looked at them and smiled, trying to let them know that I trusted them even if she didn’t. In their minds, I didn’t want to be lumped into the classification of adults, and adult women, who treat them so horribly.

Normally they deliver the recycling by themselves without an adult escort. They have been bringing the recycling in all year. Of course they know what they’re doing.

I encouraged them to proceed, but she was not done, apparently, because she insisted on following them, saying, “It can’t go in there! Surely not,” as they were walking to the closet that holds the recycle bin. I may have physically cringed at that, I’m not sure. I was trying to remain calm, but inwardly, I was angry and horrified.

“Yes,” I said as I looked pointedly at her, hoping she would back off, “They know what they are doing.” It continued though, because she followed them into the closet and stood over them as they emptied their full recycle bag into the bin and said, “Are you doing it right?” with disdain in her voice.

I felt sick to my stomach and wanted to cry, and was actually finding it difficult not to.

They were finally done, and I thanked them with smiles and words of appreciation at the successful completion of their usual task, trying to convey my confidence and trust in them. They left, and I let myself cry.

So it begins as soon as they are born, I guess, doesn’t it? In our society (does it happen all over the planet too?), as females, we are taught to emasculate males. We are taught they can’t be trusted to do anything the “right” way. We are taught they are fuck-ups most of the time. We are taught that the emasculation of males is not only okay, it is the norm, and it is expected.

We are also taught to look for their “mistakes”—those times that they don’t do something the way we think they should—and we are taught to emasculate them by pointing it out in the most embarrassing, worst way possible—usually in front of other people. Is this supposed to “put them in their place” somehow? Or teach them to do it the “right” way?

More Ways we Emasculate Men

Rolling our eyes at him and/or his behavior

Not accepting help from him (opening doors, etc.)

Expecting him to think like a woman

Not trusting him

Belittling him for doing things the way he does them (instead of the way a woman would do it)

Not listening

Taking over something and doing it ourselves, because he is not doing it “right” or in the time we think he should

Never letting him win – never letting him make us happy

Not appreciating him for being a man and being himself

Interrupting him when he talks

Interrupting him when he is focused and working

Expecting, and even asking, him to think/act/talk/argue like a woman

Not appreciating those things that make him masculine:  being driven, single-focused, competitive, etc.

Not realizing he is a hero and not treating him like the hero he is

Competing with him instead of trusting him

Making passive aggressive “jokes” about him or his behavior—especially when others are present

Tacitly or openly criticizing him in front of others and attempting to get others to join you in the criticism

Treating him like a child

Not showing our appreciation, love, acceptance

Assume criticism motivates a man when only appreciation will do that

Not Following the Trend

If, as a woman, you decide not to participate in the emasculation of men, you are seen as a traitor. And worse, if you decide to actually defend men, you are seen as the enemy—like men—someone who cannot be trusted.

A couple of years ago, when I began studying men, women and relationships, I came across the mother of all relationship books, The Queen’s Code, by Alison Armstrong. This book represents the results of her research of over 25 years into men, women and relationships. It is presented as a novel, a story, but it really is the compilation of her research.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It should be required reading for everyone—as early as grade school—especially for females.

Those couple of years ago, I took the Queen’s Code vow. I gave up the “right” to emasculate men. Because most women do see it as their right to treat men so horribly, to crush them, to emasculate them. I gave up my right to defend the emasculation of men. I laid down my sarcasm, my distrust, my habits, my self-righteous anger, my sword, my ignorance of men.

I began exploring the idea: What if men actually have a good reason for everything they do and the way they do it? What if the way a woman would do something is not the only fucking way to do something?!?!

The Queen’s Code is a code of honor and a code of conduct. To embrace the code is to embrace men, to embrace their inherent goodness and honesty, to embrace them as teachers, trainers and as the incredible support and providers that they are.

So ladies, I will not join you in emasculating men. I will not roll my eyes at them ever again. I will not tolerate you doing it either. I will leave the conversation. I will defend them. I will treat them with the respect, appreciation and trust they deserve.

And I am angry that those two little men were treated so off-handedly horribly in my office. I am angry that this is the norm. I am angry that no one seems to be offended by this. I am angry that no is paying attention. I am angry that this happens all the time, every day, everywhere. I am angry that that mom has no conscious idea of what she did (and is undoubtedly still doing). I am angry with myself that I spent so much of my life in that same category. I am angry that when I defend men I am treated as a traitor. I am angry at women. I am angry at our society that thinks this is okay. I am angry when I watch a movie or a TV show and see the castration of men by women that passes for humor.

I am angry.

Ladies, let’s give it up. Let’s wise up. Let’s educate ourselves.

Gentlemen, I’m sorry. Please forgive me for being that self-righteous, emasculating, blind, ignorant bitch for so much of my life.

At elephant journal:  Ladies, Let’s Stop Emasculating Men.

The Nothingness of Depression.

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I am depressed today. And I don’t know where it comes from.

Is it a chemical reaction to something I’ve eaten? Is it related to my yearly battle with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)? Is it because I’m not being “true to myself,” and I’m stuffing emotions that I should be expressing, taking out and examining for a deeper meaning?

I don’t know. And I don’t care.

Years ago I was at my chiropractor’s office getting an adjustment. As he was asking about what was going on in my life, I mentioned I was somewhat depressed. His condescending response held the phrase, “…when you start feeling sorry for yourself…” I never went back to his office, even though I had been getting adjustments from him for years.

It was obvious he had no experience with depression. It was obvious he though “feeling sorry for yourself” was the same as depression. It is not. For me, even sadness has nothing to do with depression.

Depression is about “nothingness.”

Fast forward to just about a year ago. As a Hypnotherapist, I was learning a new technique to acquire a new tool to help my clients. This type of technique involves assisting the client to reprogram their thoughts and responses. As a part of the process, the client is encouraged to choose a better way of thinking (a “preferred response”), and to really make the new, better response very intense and active in their mind.

During the training, the instructor, while going over methods to use with clients who are depressed, said something about how “depressed patients are lazy,” because they don’t want to think of anything better.

Again, obviously he’s never been depressed. Because nothing could be further from the truth. It has nothing to do with wanting. It has everything to do with unable. Feeling sorry for yourself is light years away from true depression.

Depression is when there is nothing but deep darkness. I can’t even rise up enough to think about thinking of something better. “Something better” does not exist in depression. Depression is it’s own dark abyss where nothing else exists and movement is difficult, if not impossible.

Light and “preferred responses” cannot penetrate the lethargy, the fog, the thickness. “Something better” does not compute from within depression. It is not that depressed folks are lazy and therefore can’t remember a happier time; it is that happy does not exist; the past and future do not exist. Only darkness exists—in an eternal, deep, sucking Now. There is no direct route from depressed to happy.

The depressed person cannot move—in thought or body. Depression pushes down and pulls down, all at once, sucking me further in. It is stagnant and dark and terrifying, but I am too lethargic to react, too drugged with heaviness and apathy, to even express the terror. I get pulled in so deeply, that it physically hurts to open my eyes (my mind’s eyes, as well as my physical eyes) to try and look for something other than this black Now.

I usually find myself begging out loud for mercy, asking, “please…please…please…,” not wanting to continue the descent. The begging is as close as I can get to movement, to doing something proactive, to praying. I begin begging because, for me, there are levels of depression, and I don’t want to keep sinking. I beg for at least a full stop. I beg because I know how horrible it is further down in there, and please God I don’t want to go to that level again—please, not this time.

Depression sucks the will out of me. It sucks faith out of me. Reasoning goes next. Aversion shows up, and I am convinced that no one—not even my best girlfriend or my sweet, patient man—wants to take a desperate call from me right now. No one wants to put up with such a wretched person as I am right now.

Embarrassment is next, as I begin berating myself on how I should be able to pull myself back up out of this morass. And if I do somehow make it back up and out of this, how am I going to face everyone who noticed me sinking so deep and far away, who saw how worthless I was/am?

I am worthless, talent-less, lacking in reason and therefore have no place to go but further down, deeper into the abyss. It is the only place where I feel welcome, where I know no one will be forced to endure me, and so I let it pull me further in.

Is it a habit—like an addiction? Am I addicted to depression somehow—maybe on a chemical level that I am not consciously aware of? Because it is seductive, in a way. It is quiet, at least. It is a form of Now.

At least I don’t have to talk to anyone here. I don’t have to listen to anyone tell me how wonderful my life is and how I shouldn’t feel this way, how I shouldn’t succumb to the darkness, how I should be strong and resist it, how foolish it is to go so deeply away, to be so… absent.

That is what it feels like. It feels like I am not in the real world; I am absent. I am separated from the world by a thick, heavy fog that I can only barely see through to observe other humans.

It always feels like I’ve sunk too deep down into the rabbit hole to return.

the elephant journal version:  The Difference Between Feeling Sorry for Yourself and Depression

When You are Dragging Yourself Through the Dark Night of the Soul.

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Most folks dread the void. I know I do.

I hate being in that place where no information seems to be forthcoming from the Divine, no options present themselves—and even if they do, no decision feels right. I feel mired in the muck—stagnant. Nothing feels comfortable. I feel like I’m a stranger in my own skin, my own life.

When this happens, I tend to view this state as a failure on my part—failure to connect with the Divine, failure in my ability to navigate bad, foggy times in my life, failure to adjust, failure to be a good, faithful human, failure to blah, blahblah, blahblah…

I get very frustrated; I worry. I tie myself up in I’m-not-good-enough knots, creating even more difficulty for myself.

I begin to think I’ve lost my mojo, my groove, that something is so wrong with me that I will never hear my inner guidance again, never feel the presence of the Divine again, never be able to be myself again.

I have been in this foggy, void-ish place for several days. Or has it been weeks? It could be weeks, because I totally suck at Earth time. But whatever the time frame, it is sucking like a big dog.

My friend, colleague, sister and mentor, Jo Underwood, who is an all-around good, kick-ass friend, colleague, sister and mentor, suggested a few days ago, when I was crying to her about this void-ness, that I just sit still.

What?! And not do anything?! Not figure out where it came from, why I’m in it, how and why I created this? How irresponsible is that?! Sit still!?

And indeed, it becomes clear, when I look at the last few weeks, that there have been plenty of signs that I should be “sitting still.” A month ago I popped my ass out of joint on the right side by doing yoga on the beach, for christ’s sake—something that is supposed to be good for me—soothing and calming. Oh my gawd, that hurt—and it still hurts!

Okay, Grace, so that is not slowing you down? Then we see that pain in your ass and we raise you a broken pinkie toe—all on the same side, by the way. Because two weeks ago I stubbed my right pinkie toe so badly that I’m sure it broke. I stubbed it on something in my house that has only been sitting right there in that very same spot for about three years. I know it’s bad when I stub my toe and it hurts so badly that I can’t even cuss about it—it quite literally took my breath away, it hurt so much.

Hello. Slow down. Sit still! But did I get the hint? No.

Okay, how about a bruised tailbone, then? Will that do the trick? I totally racked myself on my bike! Me, someone who has been riding a bike all my life, racked myself. It was because of the fucking broken toe, too. It was cold and raining, but because of the broken toe, I couldn’t wear shoes, so I was wearing my flip flops on the bike, in the rain, my feet freezing, and my foot slid off the pedal while going down a (smooth) curb. I jerked backward and landed hard on the bike seat, right on my tailbone.

Did that do it, then? No (have I mentioned that I’m stubborn?).

Just last week, while moving furniture so I could help put in my new flooring (!), I stubbed my right big toe. At that, though, I had had enough. I straightened up and began yelling—in the general direction of the ceiling, while looking wildly around (for the burning bush?), “What?!?!? What do you want from me?! Stop hurting me!! I’ve had enough!! What! Do! You! Want?!” I stood there, fists clenched, shaking and waiting… for lightening to strike, maybe?

Enter my conversation with Jo and her admonishment to sit still—stop pushing, stop trying so bloody hard to wrest an answer from God, from my Higher Self, from the Universe, from the broken toe, for fuck’s sake—when there might not be one.

To put the exclamation mark at the end of “sit still,” yesterday a client came to me for the very same reason. She was upset that no options for resolving any of the many issues in her life were presenting themselves—and hadn’t been for a long time. She was almost frantic, feeling so unlike herself, who is usually connected and flowing in the Divine River of life.

I always attract clients that are doing the very same thing I’m doing—proving to me, over and over again, that the Law of Attraction is very real.

It was easy to give her an answer to her void issue. It’s so easy when it’s someone else, isn’t it?

Slow down. Sit still. Stop pushing. See this as a time of rest instead of a time of nothingness, the lull before the storm, the caterpillar inside the cocoon, doing its necessary work (which when observed from the outside, looks like it’s doing nothing) to soon become the butterfly.

And the next piece of advice? What would you do for a close friend who came to you feeling this way? You’d comfort her. You’d make her a cup of tea and ask how you could help. You’d run her a warm bubble bath and light some soothing candles, you’d wrap her in love and comfort and hugs and soothing words and sounds. You’d take care of her, because you love her.

So why aren’t you treating yourself that way in this time of stress? I gave her the advice I most needed to hear for myself. Treat yourself like you would treat your close girlfriend if she came to you with the same problem. Stop beating yourself up. Stop gnashing your proverbial (or literal) teeth about it. Stop thinking you have to figure everything out. Stop thinking you have to have the right answer, right now.

Sit still. Let this be a time of mental/emotional (and perhaps, physical) rest. Let it just be whatever it is and stop fighting it—stop fighting yourself and please stop yelling at you. Stop rushing around—inside your head and heart, and in the world.

Use this time to retreat—from the world around you that says you must always be moving and conquering and slaying dragons, retreat from your very not useful harangue at yourself and also re-treat yourself: Comfort yourself instead of berating yourself that you should know what to do.

So when you are dragging yourself through the dark night of your own soul, or through that empty void where nothing feels right or true and when you can’t locate North on your own internal compass… consider just being still—inside, but perhaps outside too.

And be good to yourself. Rest. Cry. Sleep. Just allow. Pray. Grieve. Maybe patch that hole in the living room wall that has needed it for years. Maybe not. Give yourself the clichéd break. You don’t always have to be traveling down life’s road at absolute break-neck, hell-for-leather speed.

Breathe. Sit. Stay.

This too shall pass.

“When holy water was rare at best
It barely wet my fingertips
But now I have to hold my breath
Like I’m swimming in a sea of it
It used to be a world half there
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down
But I walk it with a reverent air
‘Cause everything is holy now
Everything, everything
Everything is holy now”
~ out of Peter Mayer’s song, Holy Now

Also published at elephant journal.

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She gracethanx2013.3sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-bees, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet therapist—yep, they do exist. You can find her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Fuck Vulnerability.

1stphone6I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else so easily—nor at the mercy of my own, willingly open, heart.

“…to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee, to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of kind of terror when we’re wondering can I love you this much, can I believe in this this passionately, can I be this fierce about this, just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen—just say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable, means I’m alive.”
~Brene Brown

Some days I don’t know if I can “dare greatly,” “live my vulnerability” and “choose authenticity.” I think I’ve failed miserably today at this thing I am calling my new, vulnerable, wholehearted life.

In fact, I think I fail at it a lot.

And if that shame-vulnerability goddess, Brene Brown, had been within range today… well, let’s just say it would not have been pretty.

I found myself thinking about the “slug fest” she spoke of having with vulnerability in the early years of looking at shame. “Vulnerability pushed; I pushed back. I lost the fight, but I won my life back.”

I went into fear this morning over an email, got right again quickly with the person who had sent it—oversight, human error, totally understandable and not even in need of forgiveness it was so innocently written/sent, but then spent most of the day beating myself up that I had gone so easily and quickly into fear and doubt.

Where is my trust and faith? Where is the “center” I speak of so self-confidently (so arrogantly?) when all is well, when I have not just allowed a simple email to peel me back to the quick? Have I learned nothing, then?

Where was my head and heart? Why, when things come at me seemingly sideways, do I still assume the worst? It’s one more item on the list of things I like least about myself.

I sat there, carefully reading the email over and over, wondering how I could better interpret it, trying to read the very best into it, assume good intent—and finally ended up just flat out failing, just giving in to the pain it provoked.

I sat at my computer and cried.

I am embarrassed to say that at that moment I did not want to address that email at all. I did not want to do my usual and attempt to speak not from a place of fear but try and find a kinder and more careful place from which to ask for clarification.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to—anywhere but here—just go!

I simply wanted to flip the sign on the door to my heart to “closed out of business,” do a quick, well-executed about-face and run—run right out the back door and not stop—ever.

And I can still see the view out that back door. That door opens out onto a depressing, wide, flat, dry plain of land with a sunset oranging and pinking its way to sleep. There are single, spaced, lonely highline poles with one thick cable suspended, scalloping off into the distance across that plain, the poles growing shorter and skinnier and finally merging with the blinding orange somewhere unseen, way off near the arc of the Earth.

I wanted to be on my way to that beckoning arc, a small, dark, indecipherable speck from here in all that flat orange glow. I’m pretty sure my mad sprint to reach that illusive, ever-retreating, seductive arc could continue the rest of my (at this point, short) life if I let it.

I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else so easily—nor at the mercy of my own, willingly open, heart. Wanted not to be so easily bruised. Wanted to not be so vulnerable as to be available for such abrasions.

I found myself thinking things like, “Why am I doing this to myself? Why?! Isn’t it easier to just close off and not be openhearted, not put myself in this position?”

Because sure, to dare greatly and be authentic and open is to be available for great love and depth from others and the world in general, but holy fuck(!), it also means we risk the possibility of great pain too.

To live so openly, so close to the bone, so vulnerably is a mighty risky. It is not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure—not even for the wise. Most days I’m not sure I can conjure the guts, the courage (the foolhardiness!), to get up and do it all over again.

I could try and go back to the old self I was before I started this journey a couple of years ago—closed off, unavailable, solitary, withdrawn (read: miserable). I could try living half-assed again.

As much as I hate being in this vulnerable, fear-relief hangover I’m squatting in right now writing this, I’m also pretty sure I’m ruined now for the old me, pretty sure I’d always be looking over my shoulder in that lonely marathon to that horizon, always wondering what I’d missed out on, who and what I’d given up, what I could have had.

So I think that means (thank gawd the math is simple, at least) for better or worse:  I’m in.

“I know vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. But it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love…”
~ Brene Brown

A version published at elephant journal too.

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.