Tag Archives: spirituality

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.

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Communicating with Men.

DSCF4131Why would you read these posts? Why would you do these things? Isn’t this anti-feminism?

When I get these questions from clients, my first response is always: Are you happy with your life/relationship(s) as is? If so, you have nothing to worry about. If not, what have you got to lose in learning how to respect and communicate with the men in your life?

In this post, I discussed the timing of inviting your man back into love. In the post before that one, I wrote about some differences in men and women’s brains and why it’s important to offer your gift of love, why it’s important to invite your man back into his heart and belly—back into love.

In my last post, we looked at some specific techniques to get your man out of his head—out of his driven, focused, “work” mode—and into his heart and belly, where he can share in love, where he can get a break from the driven, obsessive energy of masculinity and where he can notice and appreciate your feminine energy.

If you followed some of the instructions in that last posts, now you have his attention.

Now that you’ve got his attention and focus, how do you communicate with him most effectively? We’ll cover some of those ideas in this post.

Remember, his brain works differently than ours—not “less than” and not slower and not more shallowly—just differently. Learn the differences and begin to respect those differences.

Just because his brain works differently than ours, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with him or his brain or the way he thinks. You can choose to be angry or upset or hurt by this, or you can realize he is a man with a man’s brain and you can work with it, being respectful of how different he is

Please leave your prejudices behind and stop rolling your eyes at him (or behind his back). Be respectful and kind. See him and men and how their brains work as a lovely new land to be explored. Be willing to learn and enjoy—bring your sense of adventure.

“Be mature. Be kind. Be honorable. You will never regret taking the high road no matter what happens.” ~ Steve Horsmon

Get in the Same Zip Code

The reason he doesn’t respond to you sometimes? Because you haven’t gotten his attention, so that he can switch “boxes” in his brain. He is not ignoring you. The way his brain works makes that impossible.

Don’t just yell out the back door, “Dinner’s ready!” or “Your brother’s on the phone!” and expect him to respond. He is focused out there, doing his guy thing.

Go out to where he is and do this first. Then tell him the information. He might be irritated at the interruption, but be respectful enough to know that the way his brains works makes being in physical proximity to him necessary, and he needs that from you.

Being in the same zip code is especially important if you are conveying significant information—meaning you are talking about something that’s important to you and that you want him to remember.

Don’t walk off, or start doing something else while you’re talking to him. If it’s important, convey that by staying right there and keeping eye contact. Put your phone away, close the laptop, wait until you’re not cooking or sorting bills. Tell him, “This is really important to me.”

Make an Appointment Ahead of Time

Men need to be able to switch into the appropriate box in their brains. Be kind and give him a chance to do that. Let him know ahead of time what you want to talk about and set an appointment. Put it on his calendar.

Ask him, “It would make me so happy to talk about this with you. Is this a good time?” If he says no, don’t take it personally, simply ask, “Okay, when would be a better time? How about Wednesday after dinner?” If that works, get it on both of your literal calendars, so that he has a reminder.

Men are goal-oriented and are driven to accomplish those goals. When you get on his calendar, not only does he have a reminder, you and that discussion are now a goal to be accomplished.

Remember, don’t be offended by the way his brain works, learn about it, respect it—use this knowledge to promote peace and ease between the two of you.

He will be so much more open to giving his attention to you if you respect his needs. Tell him what you want to talk to him about—don’t keep him guessing and nervous. There’s nothing respectful about that.

Remind Him Nicely

You will have to tell him things more than once—remind him. That’s just the way his brain works. He is always so focused on right now, that he is unable to think ahead in that moment. He needs to be reminded—kindly.

Alison Armstrong suggests something like this. As you are both waking up and getting out of bed, say something like, “Wow, only four days until my birthday! I am so excited this year!”

And then maybe the day of, “Happy birthday to me, the birthday girl!” as you smile and hug him. He gets to celebrate right then and there with you, and you have reminded him kindly.

Tell him What you Need

Women need and like to talk and rant out loud. We just do. That’s how we process and figure out how we’re feeling about something. That’s how we understand and make sense of our world.

“I believe that when women stop emasculating men, men will give us everything we ever wanted…”   ~ Alison Armstrong

Don’t expect him to be your girlfriend. Don’t expect him to be able—or willing—to talk to you like a woman would/does. He shouldn’t be expected to learn and then execute that.

To insist he do that is actually a subtle form of emasculation. When you refuse to let him talk to you like a man talks, you are demanding he be a woman, and you are saying there is something wrong with him being and talking like a man.

If this idea doesn’t sit right with you, pushes buttons or otherwise pisses you off, think of the opposite.

Think of just how pissed off you’d be if a man refused to talk to you until you “cool off and become more rational”—in other words, until you can communicate more like him, more like a man.

Men can get overwhelmed by all those words if he thinks you need him to fix it. And most men are fixers—it’s a guy thing. If you need to just rant and talk out loud and just need him to listen, say so.

Try something like, “Baby, I really need to just vent/rant right now about this. Could you just give me the gift of letting me talk it out? I don’t need you to fix anything. I simply need your ear.” And when he does this for you, let him know how happy that makes you!

Learn to Listen

But learn to listen not like a woman needs to be listened to, but like a man does. You know how we talk together, ladies. We finish each other’s sentences, exclaim out loud to empathize and talk over each other in our excitement and intensity, sometimes gesturing wildly and emphatically.

Ask a question of a man and then put an invisible piece of duct tape over your mouth and just sit and wait and listen. You will get the most wonderful, deep, incredible answers. It is beautiful.

While he talks, let him know he still has your attention, but without interrupting—just nod or make small sounds. Remember, men focus on one thing at a time (I am so envious of this!), so don’t derail him by being too verbal in your responses while he’s talking.

Then after he stops talking, use Alison’s 10-second rule: after he stops talking, wait. Wait another 10 seconds before saying anything or asking the next question. Give him time to add on to his original answer if he chooses to.

In stressful/critical situations, men often like to take the information/question you’ve given them and then want to process and come back to you with their answer or their condensed version of what is needed.

They often will want to give you just the end result of their analysis rather than talk it all out and come to an out-loud, verbal decision right in that moment.

I know it can be difficult to wait for him to do this—especially in the middle of an argument or uncomfortable confrontation, but he really does need to do this.

Be patient and kind and respect that they want to bring you their best answer, their best selves, and that is why they are requesting your patience. Trust him (and maybe call a girlfriend in the interim and get her to talk you down off the ledge while you wait).

Just the Facts, Ma’am—Keep it Short and To-the-Point

When you need something other than just to rant, choose your words wisely. Focus on efficiency. Men can get overwhelmed by all the words and emotions coming out of us, and when men get overwhelmed, they tend to want to retreat to their “nothing box.”

That’s not how they communicate effectively. Their brains work quickly and comprehensively, taking in information in big, often visual, chunks. They don’t need or want all the fluff. Help them help you by sorting through all that ahead of time.

A good rule of proverbial thumb: talk sticky stuff out with your girlfriend(s) first, then take the boiled-down reduction to your man to discuss.

Tell Him the ROI (Return on Investment)

Get his attention and tell him what the ROI is for him if he listens to you.

Try something like, “When I feel listened-to and heard, I am able to relax and concentrate on you and on having a good time with you. I will be the normal, happy woman you know and love. I will have more confidence. I will be easier to live with. I won’t feel crazy and isolated. You will be my hero for listening to me rant/talk/emote and being my support. I feel like I can go out and conquer the world when I know you hear and respect me by really listening to me. I love that feeling of knowing you have my back and that we are a team this way. I’ll want to connect with you more deeply. I’ll want to have sex more often.”

Why Men Don’t Tell you the Truth

“Men are not devious like women—unless backed into a corner, men will always tell the truth and say what they mean.” ~ Alison Armstrong

If you find out your man has lied to you, the question you might think about asking yourself is not “Why is my man a liar?” but rather, “Why does he feel backed into a corner? Is it because my reaction to this in the past has been not very pleasant, so he is avoiding that again, perhaps? Do I emasculate him on a regular basis in this type of situation, so that he needs to avoid that?”

And remember, many men pretend to be vulnerable, and don’t tell us the entire truth, so that we women don’t kick the emotional shit out of them, according to research by Brene Brown.

I’m not saying a woman is responsible when a man lies to her, I’m just saying that in an otherwise, seemingly normal, relationship where lying is unusual, these might be questions to think about. And it might be time to learn how, as a woman, to respectfully sit with and honor his true, deep (scary!) vulnerability.

And gentlemen, why are you lying to her? Is it because you don’t want her emotions, her femininity? Is that too scary?

“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

Do You have a Great Ask?

Alison Armstrong, who has studied men for over 25 years, encourages women to use the Great Ask with men. Figure out what you need instead of just complaining first. Then ask him for that. Example: “I really love birthday parties. Could you plan a birthday party for me this year?”

Then ask him, “Now what do you need from me to make this happen?” Then put the invisible duct tape over your mouth and wait and let him tell you what he needs from you.

He may need to be reminded nicely, or he may need you to tell him more about what kind of party you want. He may need you to witness him putting it in/on his calendar, so he has a reminder.

Then do that for him, so as to help him get you what you need/want. That is the Great Ask.

“When we share our emotions with our man, it inspires him to protect and help us. Share the specific emotions and then ask for what you want/need, ‘When we don’t get enough time together, I feel sad and I miss you. I would love to have more quality time with you. And what do you need from me to help make this happen?’” ~ Alison Armstrong

Is this manipulation?

Some folks will see this information as manipulation. And indeed, if that is your motive, then it is manipulation. And some will recognize it as the informed route to the relationship that they have always wanted to have but either didn’t know how, or didn’t have the courage, to do.

Tony Robbins talks about how you don’t just want your partner to be a fan, because satisfied fans/clients leave. He says we should create raving fans of our partners, because raving fans just keep coming back for more. It’s the difference between worshiping and loving someone.

We’ll talk more about whether this is manipulation or not in the next post.

A version also published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

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.

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.

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.