Tag Archives: Steve Horsmon

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.

How to Invite Your Man Back into Love—the Techniques.

DeathtosStockSerenity9Getting your man’s attention, even though he is probably going to initially be irritated, grumpy or impatient with you, takes courage—and practice.

In my last 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 this post, we look 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.

Not for Sissies

Getting your man’s attention, even though he is probably going to initially be irritated, grumpy or impatient with you, takes courage—and practice.

I had difficulty doing this at first, and I continued to feel like I was failing at it until I mentioned that to my man. He expressed surprise that I would think that and then informed me that he thought I was great at it.

At first it felt foreign and weird, and I was sure he was going to be (and stay!) angry with me for interrupting him. But I approached it, as best I could, with a sense of experimentation just to see what would work and what wouldn’t.

The same way we ask men to be brave and withstand our emotions and just stand strong and firm for us even when we say we don’t want that? Well, be brave for your man and give him your feminine gift of bringing him back into his heart, back into intimacy with you—even when he shows irritation at you for doing so.

“Your feminine force of life is your unique gift to your man, and, deep down, it’s what he wants from you, regardless of his resistance.”
~David Deida

Firstly, Get into the Feminine

Important! To be perceived and received as the woman you really are, you will want to make sure, first, that you are in your soft, strong feminine energy. Otherwise, you risk becoming masculine and domineering in your endeavor, so that your request comes across as a nagging demand instead of an invitation.

“The feminine force is the force of life. Your happiness is the heart of this force. Give him happiness the way you want to. Kiss him, hug him, hold him, tell him you love him, tell him how good it is to see him. Do whatever expresses your happiness. He might scowl and mumble, “I don’t feel like it. I feel horrible.” Don’t absorb his masculine refusal of life and energy. Transform the moment, literally, into a garden of life: music, loving affection, food and light. All of it is just an expression of your radiant happiness.” ~ David Deida

Femininity is about the body and the senses. Focus on your breath, and let it come from deep in your belly; feel yourself fully in your body—warm, soft. Imagine how inviting he will find you when you are soft and feminine and warm—think of how strong and powerful that makes you.

Be kind.

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

Speak in man. Keep it brief and to the point and use words that have meaning to him. For example, words like “help” call a man to action and therefore get his attention and get him instantly ready to assist you. Try something like, “Baby, would you be so kind as to help me with something when you get a minute or two?”

My Favorite Method for the Public Interruption

As I approach him, I focus on why I am doing this and what I want to convey.

For example, I might want to give him a break from work (men will continue to work in their minds even if they’re not working physically or at a desk). I love him and want to connect with him. I want him to feel how much I love him. I know he’s stressed, and I want to let him know I’m supporting him, that I’m here for him. I have important information I know he will want to hear, etc.

“The highest form of feminine radiance is love, which can be expressed in many ways. Men feed on this radiance. This love heals their hearts. When they receive it, men feel, Yes! This is the woman I want to be with!” ~David Deida

Get him into his love room/box. And to get him there takes a second or two—or more. Extend to him the respect of knowing that’s just how his brain works and be patient.

Touch him—gently, softly—and with power. Keep your voice soft and low—smile. Look at his eyes and wait for him to make eye contact. Keep smiling genuinely. Think of how much you love him and respect him, how proud you are of him, and let that come through your eyes and voice.

I like to bodily move in front of him and put my palm flat against the middle of his chest and make eye contact. I lean into him a bit. Smile. Wait to get his eyes and attention. Wait past his irritation, the impatience—I don’t take it personally (anymore). I continue to smile.

When he withdraws his attention from everything else and gives it to me, I so appreciate it, so I try to convey that appreciation—sometimes in words or maybe just with my gaze.

Once you have his full attention, tell him what you need to say—whether it’s something important, “Baby, check your zipper,” or something ‘trivial’ like, “You look really hot in that shirt. Wow, you are so handsome,” followed, perhaps, by a quick kiss.

Then back off and go your way. This entire exchange should never take more than ten seconds.

He may smile; he may engage you in conversation and want more of your attention; he may follow you and offer affection. He might give you a kiss in return. He may go back to his work. In any case, you have done your job. You have connected with him.

That was an invitation back into love.

If he paused and made genuine eye contact and acknowledged you—either in words or facial expression, and especially if he offered love back to you in the form of words, a smile and/or physical affection, a kiss, etc., then he accepted your invitation—and you can consider yourself successful.

If I need more of his time and attention, or if more information needs to be exchanged, I do all of the above and then say something like, “Sweetie, when you get a minute, can I get your help with something?” And by “help,” I mean: I need your help getting you this information.

And remember, when you’re in a public setting, there may be lots going on. It could be really difficult for him to shift focus, so be patient and kind.

From a Man’s Perspective

I asked Steve Horsmon, life and relationship coach, to send me his favorites. Here’s his top 10 list.

1. The head scratch and the “I’m so glad you’re my man,” comment in Married Man’s Tears makes men weep with feelings of being loved and accepted. That can be used almost anywhere.

2. Playfulness is key. Giggling at us/because of us. Teasing, poking, wrestling. Mock domination—up against the wall—quick flash of eye contact and a kiss. Nothing feels so great as being pursued and desired.

3. Mystery. “Hey, when you’re done with what you’re doing, meet me on the patio for a surprise.” (have some wine, cheese, crackers, whatever)

4. Playfully grab our belts right in front where the buckle is, letting your fingers slide down behind the belt, against the belly, make eye contact, lean in where only we can hear you with a, “Hey, I missed you today. Want to hook up later—after the kids go to bed?” with a wicked smile and a quick, but suggestive, kiss.

5. Men (and women) both love someone stirring “erotic energy” in the relationship. This includes mystery, adventure, danger, sensual touch, dirty talk, tension, distance, aggression, risk, competition, etc. Men love to be yanked by surprise out of their mind and into their heart with erotic energy. Not necessarily sex—just light, fun, tantalizing erotic energy.

6. Competition. “Hey, I bet I can hit that sign with a rock before you!” or “I bet I can walk on this rail farther than you,” or whatever. Playful, physical competition stirs us into our body and heart.

7. Handling conflict well. “Well sir, I tend to totally disagree with your opinion but I understand where you’re coming from. You’re kind of hot when you’re bullheaded, ya know?”

8. Not talking when we drive…or at most, “Gee, the chrome plating on that bumper looks a little pitted, don’t ya think?” (with a friendly squeeze on the back of the neck)

9. Purposely using the words hard, wet, slippery, slide, pump, pound, mount, kiss, lick, shoot, explode or turgid in totally “innocent” conversation.

10. See #9. 🙂

What are your faves?

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

Also published at elephant journal.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and foundesteve horsmon photor of Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

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 Twitter.

Timing is Everything.

DSCF3524If he’s a masculine man, then he is driven to make things happen—that is one way he wants to take care of you.

In the post before this one, I shared some info about how men and women think differently because of the way their brains work, about feminine and masculine energy and about why it is essential to give our gifts of feminine/masculine energy to each other.

In this post, I look at the timing of inviting your man back into love.

When to Interrupt Him

First of all, make good choices about when to interrupt him to extend the invitation back into love. Because yes, it is your job to do this for your man—but he does get to be a man.

I don’t like it when I’m in my masculine mode working on a project and making good progress and in the “zone” and someone interrupts me. I tend to be irritated by the interruption.

And we women can only marginally understand how it must be to a man, who not only has the driven, focused man thing going on but also is working with a man brain that has the luxury of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

When you interrupt him, he will be confused, upset, abrupt, irritated, etc. What he is doing is just removing his focus from what he had it on to focus on you. Men tell me it can be a real effort.

But know that he does need this invitation from you, ladies—at the appropriate time. He needs to be invited back into love, into emotions—back into his heart and belly.

So just expect him to be irritated or impatient with you for interrupting his thought process. But be brave. Give your man this gift anyway, even though it will seem to you like he doesn’t want it.

He needs it.

Just because he shows irritation or annoyance at your invitation, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go along with him not being in his love room/box. Invite him into love.

The same way we ask men to be brave and withstand our emotions and just stand strong and firm for us even when we say we don’t want that? Well, be brave for your man and give him your feminine gift of bringing him back into his heart, back into intimacy with you—even when he shows irritation at you for doing so. Stand your ground—softly and powerfully—and just do it.

Respecting his Time/Work—to a Point

If you know, for example, that he is hard at work on a contract that needs to be completed by the end of the business day and then knowing how his brain works, why would you interrupt him (excepting for an actual emergency of some sort, of course)?

Let him be a man. Give him space to do his man thing. If he’s a masculine man, then he is driven to make things happen—that is one way he wants to take care of you.

Being successful, succeeding at his goals, making money and making things happen are ways he gives you his masculine gifts. He wants to do these things because it makes him feel good, makes him feel like man.

He also does these things to make you proud of him; he wants to make you happy. Let him make you happy. Be proud of him. Let him succeed. Let him do his man stuff and accept it for the gift that it is. Tell him how much you appreciate him.

Why is he Ignoring Me?

Ladies, according to Alison Armstrong, it is impossible for a man to ignore you. He is not ignoring you, so stop taking it personally. Just learn when and how to—kindly, softly—interrupt him and invite him to pay attention to you and to love.

The design of his brain makes it impossible for him to ignore you. He is thinking about and focused on something else, and when he does that, he does it to the exclusion of everything else.

He is just so focused on whatever it is that he is doing or thinking that no other information gets in. He has the luxury of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

So stop taking this personally and stop giving him so much crap about it. He doesn’t deserve it.

When my man doesn’t answer my text right now, I know he is busy. I trust he is taking care of things—no matter what those things may be. I trust him to take care of his business—whatever that is.

In fact, I seldom text or contact him during his workday. I know his mind is on his work.

And if I do contact him while he’s busy, I know he may be blunt, abrupt and/or short with me—because he’s a man and he’s busy. That doesn’t mean he is always abrupt with me when I interrupt him, because we’ve had this conversation.

It just means that I have given myself fair warning that that is the most possible response—at least until I get him into his Grace box, that is.

I love thinking about him doing his masculine thing; I know that is one way he is taking care of our relationship and me.

I am not offended. In fact, it is a turn on for me. I love that he is doing his man thing. I know that when he is able to give me his full attention, he will contact me. I trust him to know when he is able to do that for me.

And I love when I have his full attention. Think about it ladies, he can only focus on one thing at a time. So when he’s focused on you, you are all he is thinking about.

Workaholics

I have heard women complain about their men being married to their jobs or of being workaholics, etc. I think that these women do not realize that they could be playing a very different and important role to help keep this from happening—or to reverse this trend/habit.

I am not saying it is okay for men to behave this way, and to absolve themselves of the responsibility of paying attention to their relationship. And some men are so driven, and are even perhaps using their work to distract them from a dysfunctional, worn out relationship that they don’t want to address, that they don’t realize this has happened.

But believe me, the woman knows when this is happening.

These men could also be so driven that they do not realize there is any other way to be. These are the men who have let themselves become obsessed and rigid because they have been too immersed in masculine energy, not allowing their women to gift them with the feminine.

And while I am also not saying a woman should be held responsible for her man’s behavior (nor should she be manipulating him), a skillful, confident (brave!), woman, educated in the fine art of inviting a man back into love, who is deeply expressing her feminine essence, can be a good remedy for this type of problem.

When not to Interrupt Him

There is one time, however, when it is probably not a good time to interrupt him—when he is in his “nothing box,” as Mark Gungor calls it. Men go to their nothing box/room for various reasons. According to Mark, men retreat to their nothing box when they are stressed and need to unwind and need to just “be.”

This is often, when you are arguing, why he will want to end the conversation as soon as possible. He needs to go to his nothing box to process. He is not dissing you; he is not ignoring you. He is not necessarily trying to run from you or the problem; he is just handling stress the way a man handles stress.

Men, this doesn’t give you permission; however, to run from your woman and the emotions she is gifting you with just to avoid her and the conflict she is bringing you.

Storing Testosterone

John Gray, the author of Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus, explains that for men who work hard—and especially for those who exercise daily, and are using big muscle groups, their down time (nothing box time) is important for building and storing testosterone.

Testosterone is built and stored during sleep too, but according to him, more testosterone is produced and stored during a man’s down time than during sleep.

So when your man has been working hard and is taking time and is sitting in front of the TV, flipping through channels and appears to be doing nothing, he is producing and storing testosterone—and to interrupt him is actually a subtle form of emasculation, according to Alison Armstrong.

When he’s done, when he’s full up on testosterone, he will emerge from the nothing box and be ready to go. When he emerges from the nothing box is the best time to ask him to help you, because he is full of testosterone and ready to expend energy.

Or Not

When I took this theory to Steve Horsmon, who is a relationship coach, he initially disagreed—until we clarified about whom we were talking. He clarified that this theory does not apply to those men who are lazy and use sitting in front of the TV as an excuse to not do what they need to be doing. Those men, he said, need a kick in the ass and need to be held accountable.

He is talking about the man who sits on the couch in a pile of potato chip crumbs and powder sugar fall-out way too long and too often and does not follow through with his commitments.

Look for the next post where we get into the fine art (techniques) of inviting your man back into love.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo.

Not for Men Only: The Anatomy of a Woman’s Complaint.

DeathtoStock_Medium8

Please. Give us this, your gift of masculinity. We so sorely need it.

“The bags under your woman’s eyes and the lines in her face may reveal much about how clearly you are living your highest purpose. Try to do your best to determine which of her “problems” are actually exquisitely sensitive bodily feedback to the way you are living your life. You know the amount of bullshit you are kidding yourself with. So does she. It just hurts her more than it does you.”
~David Deida

Gentlemen, we women can feel it when you are not living your highest purpose and fulfilling your highest good by staying in your integrity. We know these things, can feel them. And when you are not living your highest purpose, not following through and doing what you told us you were going to do, we begin to not trust you.

We start to not trust you because we can see and feel that you do not keep your word, that you don’t do what you say you will do. Even when it’s a seemingly small thing, we see it as a very tell tale sign about your integrity and your masculinity. Even when it doesn’t directly involve us, we are affected by your lack of integrity.

“A man should hear his woman’s complaints like warning bells, and then do his best to align his life with his truth and purpose.”
~David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

We always want the masculine energy to be dominant in you, regardless of our mood or our complaint. We don’t see you as less masculine because you are not cleaning out the car like you promised you would, so much as we see you as less masculine and trustworthy because we feel unsupported and unsafe with a man who does not remain impeccable with his word.

If we see and feel that we can’t trust you with your own life—to do what you tell us you will do—then we certainly can’t trust you with our life and the relationship. It is too scary. We need you to be trustworthy. We need you to be impeccable with your word.

And being impeccable with your word doesn’t mean that you never, ever get to veer from what you said you would do. And it doesn’t mean that you never get to change your mind about something. And it doesn’t mean you have to be rigid and hard and unmoving and unable to be vulnerable.

It means, rather, that you do what you say you are going to do, and you do it in a timely manner. If for some reason you can’t fulfill that promise, goal or end result, we need you to tell us that—with a brief, firm, confident explanation.

When asked if that would work for her, a girlfriend said, “Only if he doesn’t do that all the time. If that is his pattern, if he doesn’t do what he says he will do, doesn’t take care of the difficult decisions in his life, and then expects to always be able to explain that away, and I’m supposed to be okay with that, then no, that won’t work.”

The thing we are complaining about is very seldom what we are really complaining about.

It goes like this.

We begin to feel restless and angry toward you and about something that you said you would do but have not yet done. Sometimes we can’t even pinpoint the problem ourselves. So then we bring this restlessness and anger to you in a complaint, query or accusation.

That is the way women process and figure out what we’re feeling. We don’t know how we feel, what we want, until we talk out loud about it and figure that out. That’s just how our brains work.

Keep in mind that often we do not consciously know what the issue really is. We think we do. We think it’s that thing you promised us you would do several weeks/months ago but haven’t done yet. We really think it’s about you not cleaning the car like you said.

We feel uneasy and scared and this often comes out as anger and/or sadness—a feeling of being let down or disappointed.

We usually feel weird about and hesitant to bring it up, too, because we may not be clear on what the problem actually is. We don’t want to potentially rock the relationship boat about something we’re not clear about, but at the same time, because our brains function as they do (everything’s connected to everything—unlike men’s brains), we are unable to keep this problem/worry/issue from affecting everything in our lives.

If we are aware and start digging, we will unearth the feelings of lack of safety and security, but most of the time, we simply know something is wrong—something doesn’t feel good. If just feels “off.”

Steve Horsmon is spot on when he writes about how we women can sense our man’s intentions. In our complaint/confrontation, we will tell you what we think we’re upset about based on those intentions we feel from you. We will probably name some things about which we are upset/angry/sad/etc.

And when a woman brings you a complaint like this it will be because she is in pain—physically as well as emotionally. Women feel emotional pain as physical pain. When our feelings are hurt, we hurt physically too—our bodies hurt.

We will bring you this pain and it seems to you like we are asking you to fix it, because that’s what men do. Men fix things—and thank God for that—except in this situation. It will feel like we want you to answer us, to fix us, to fix the problem. But in that specific moment, we do not want you to fix anything—even if we say we do.

We want you to listen to us. We want you to stand firm and strong and let us pour our pain out to you. It’s the only way we know to get the pain out, to make the pain stop—and the only way we know how to process and get to the meat of why we are actually upset.

Please don’t argue with us. Please don’t ask us to stop talking, crying or thinking about it. If we did that, we’d be acting like a man—and you wouldn’t be attracted to us. To remain in our own integrity, our femininity, we have to bring these emotions to you.

It feels drastic, immediate and all consuming. If we don’t talk about it, we feel like we’re going to explode. The longer we hold it in, trying not to talk/think about it, the worse it gets, the angrier we get, the sadder, the more depressed, etc.

Just listen to us, please. Hold us—yes, even when we’re angry and even when we’re angry at you. Tell us it’s going to be okay. Reassure us.

Don’t take it personally—yet.

Don’t waver. Be the strong, unmoving cliff against which we can throw these wild, scary (even to us) waves of emotions. Be still and firm and calm. We know it’s confusing to you; it’s confusing to us too in that moment. We need you to be our rock in that moment, the groundedness in the wildness of our emotions—even when we are directly accusing you of something.

Please. Give us this, your gift of masculinity. We so sorely need it right then.

And the ROI for you standing strong for us and just hearing us without arguing or trying to fix us?

We will be our happy selves again; we will be the confident, laughing, woman you know and love; we will want to have sex more often; want to connect with you more; be able to appreciate you more; be better able to give you space when you need/want it; be able to do our lives and the relationship more effectively and efficiently; etc.

We will feel supported, loved, cared for, listened to, heard—the list of good things just goes on and on—simply because you listened, didn’t get defensive, didn’t argue, just stood firm for us. It makes us feel like we can go out and conquer the world when you do this for us, when we know you have our back.

“It is a mistake to believe the content of what she is saying, and then respond to her complaints, point by point.” ~David Deida

Please don’t try and argue with us or try to shame us for our emotions, our wildness. It is this wildness that makes us feminine. The Feminine is wildness, emotions, senses, the physical body, power flowing from us in the form of emotions.

Don’t take apart our complaint and try and fix it and us. Don’t try and address each complaint point by point. Just listen.

Because we are not really complaining about what we’re complaining about. We are feeling like we can’t trust you because you haven’t done what you said you would do.

And from that distrust comes the feeling that we are not safe.

Most women will rate safety/security/certainty very high on Tony Robbins’ list of The 6 Human Needs. If we feel that you are not safe because we can’t trust you, we may not know that’s why we feel so “off,” but we will feel that “off-ness”—probably even more than you feel it—if you even feel it.

After you reassure us, after we have wound down into calm, after this “crisis” is over (and that is exactly how it feels to us—yes, that urgent)—then is the time to take our complaint personally.

“Don’t argue with her about… (what you didn’t do). That’s not what she’s talking about, even though that’s what she’s talking about. Hear her complaint as the universe giving you signs about your life.

Did you purposely lie to your woman about (this)? Or did you just let it slide, like you do with so many commitments you make in your life? Can you really blame your woman for being hurt by the lack of integrity that shows in your life?” ~David Deida

And by “personally,” I mean it is time to see if the complaint is true. Are you telling us you’ll do stuff that you have no intention of doing just to shut us up in that moment and to avoid a confrontation and accountability, because you are confused or scared by our emotions? Or do you mean to do those things but then let them slide?

I’m not saying the woman will be correct every time about your integrity. Rather, see/hear her complaint as the tool it can be—use it as a barometer, use it to check your integrity. This is just one of the feminine gifts available to you if you will see it as the gift it truly is.

Don’t ask your woman not to be emotional, not to bring you her pain. Instead, stand firm, be her rock, reassure her that you got this—and then take a look at yourself, see it as the gift and warning that it is—and receive it in that manner, being thankful that you can use it to your advantage instead of making her feel bad about being a woman with feelings.

Remember, if she brings you her pain (in the form of sadness, anger, depression, etc.), it is a gift to you.

“A man should hear his woman’s complaints like warning bells, and then do his best to align his life with his truth and purpose. Her complaint should be valued as a reminder to “get it together,” and perhaps as an indication of how. But more often than not, the specifics of her complaint do not describe the real, underlying action or tendency that needs to be changed.” ~David Deida

Ladies, stay tuned for the next post on how to avoid the complaint meltdown in the first place, so that your man doesn’t have to try and figure out what it is that you are needing, because according to Alison Armstrong, a complaint is just a cowardly way to avoid asking for what we need…

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

Also published at elephant journal.

Men Pretend to be Vulnerable

First published at elephant journal as What if He is More Vulnerable and Feminine than I am?

Many men pretend to be vulnerable so that we women don’t kick the emotional shit out of them, according to research by Brene Brown.

couple-stoneI brought this topic up in my last women’s group.

Men repeatedly told Brene in interviews that their women couldn’t handle their true, deep vulnerability. So they pretend to be vulnerable and only tell us what they think we can handle. My first thought was: how masculine of them—how very chivalrous and protective.

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

We ask, even beg, men to tell us what’s going on inside, what they’re feeling, what emotions they are experiencing. “Please let me in,” we demand of them. We get upset when they won’t share with us.

But according to her research, when men do share the real emotions, the real pain, doubts and fears, we women very often can’t handle it—and men know this.

I related to my group the story of how it showed up in Brene’s life. She came home and saw that her husband was upset about some extended family issues. She immediately got angry and wanted to pick a fight with him. 1stphone6

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

As a woman, I value safety over almost everything else. When a man admits to me that he is hurting, he’s sad and afraid, it scares me; I begin to lose my sense of safety in the relationship.

Because who’s in charge if he isn’t? He is the Masculine, the directed, focused, goal-oriented part of the relationship that normally keeps us on track.

I am not much of a picker of fights anymore, myself. I have learned to remember, and stick to, my third rule: when angry, don’t say anything. Tell the other person I am angry but need to cool down. Excuse myself. Wait until the anger subsides. Really think about what I want to say. Write it down—even practice saying it out loud.

coupleThen, and only bloody then, do I confront the other person. It might take minutes. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, months; it depends on the issue.

Anger is very often fueled by fear.

I do experience the anger Brene spoke of, though. It shows up for me as a kind of irritated impatience. Instead of hearing my man, I find myself listening to the questions in my own mind, “Why can’t you just man up and deal with this? Why are you telling me this?”

I try and drown out not only what he is saying, but also the fear it brings up in me.

I suggested to the group that they take a serious look at their own reaction in that type of situation. Do they close off? Do they go into anger, impatience and fear? How do they talk to their men at that point? Or, like me, do they run from it?

I know I want the men in my life to keep their hearts and ears open when I am expressing those vulnerable secrets I carry in here bumping around and bruising me from the inside—those very real-to-me, scary thoughts that I’m not enough, that there’s something so flawed in me that if anyone knew about that, they couldn’t possibly love me.

So it has become important for me to make sure I am doing the same for him—for all the men in my life—even if I must, like Brene, pretend I know what I’m doing until, hopefully, one day I really will. statue couple

That’s when one of the women asked me, “But what if all he ever expresses is vulnerability? I feel like I am always supporting him by listening to his fear and uncertainty. I don’t want to always be in that role. I feel like I always have to be the strong one in the relationship. Sometimes I really need him to Masculine-up and support me in my vulnerability.”

I admitted I didn’t know the complete answer to that question.

I probably told her to call Steve Horsmon, my go-to relationship coach to whom I send clients. That is usually my answer to questions of this ilk.

And seeing as how I want (and need!) the answer also, I contacted Steve and asked him if he would be so kind as to answer that question right here in this post.

Steve answers:

Many of the men I work with are working hard to step-up and provide a more positive, supportive and leading role in their relationships. One of their biggest complaints when they begin providing this energy is that their partner pushes back immediately.

They will say, “I want to be stronger and to support her, but she won’t let me. It’s like she wants it but doesn’t trust me when I try, so I just give up.”

Some women make the mistake of adopting the “strong one” role just because he isn’t doing it. They value their persona of the competent caretaker above all else. Their M.O. is to give, guide, organize, and lead their way to feeling in control of their life. couple holding hands

And they quietly stew in resentment for not getting more leadership and support from their partner. Receiving, accepting, allowing and following are very scary for these women.

But the only way to inspire a man to step into a stronger role is to consciously make room for him to do so.

Making room for him is very different than trying to change him. Making room for him and inspiring him to move into a stronger, more masculine role means you must outwardly and deliberately appreciate his masculinity.

The best way to do this is to get out of your own masculine energy. When you give a man sincere, feminine approval and praise for his unique strengths and ability to make you feel cared for and protected, you can inspire his confidence and willingness to do just that.

Affectionately invite him to liscam1sten to your feelings. Ask him to hold you tight. Tell him how his arms make you feel. Intentionally “soften” into his masculine energy and consistently help him feel safe in giving you this gift.

When a woman consciously allows her man to be more assertive and to be a source of comfort for her, he can more confidently ease into his masculine energy and will find out how much he likes being there for—himself and for her.

A woman’s power to inspire this in a man through her words and her touch is phenomenal.

This legendary form of feminine leadership is a critical component of a healthy relationship and a key skill in all aspects of a woman’s life.

 

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder osteve horsmon photof Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

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

A Married Man’s Secret Tears and a Woman’s Response

Also published at elephant journal.

A Married Man’s Secret Tears
by Steve Horsmon

Do you know why romance and sensuality novels for women are so popular? Short answer:  The authors know exactly how to give women that feeling.

1stphone4That feeling has many facets and she loves them all. She tingles with the flirtatiousness of the conversation. She blushes at the boldness and sensual innuendo. She craves the unapologetic desire. She wants to be “taken” by her man. The sexual polarity and tension have her on pins and needles of pleasure. She is aching for the climactic release from this torture.And he doesn’t quite get it. He can read the same passage and have a lukewarm response.

Sure, it’s a little titillating. But it’s not the kind of “romance” language he has told me he is longing for.

He is a long-time, married man who is just dying to star in a different scene.

Just as he struggles to understand her emotional reaction to those scenes written for her, she can also be clueless about his deepest desires. And it’s not a sex scene.

To him, it seems she just doesn’t understand (or doesn’t care?) why reading this scene will almost always bring a tear to his eye and a lump in his throat.

More than anything, he wants that feeling, and only she has the power to supply that.

The Romance Story That Can Make Men Cry

They were finally alone. He had been looking forward to doing this for months and she finally agreed to a getaway for just the two of them. The kids were with grandma and they will finally have a chance to reconnect as a man and woman – not as dad and mom.

Their truck was cruising west on the hot desert highway into a beautiful sunset as one of their favorite songs from high school came on the radio. They both started humming the song and broke into the chorus at the exact same time. They both laughed and smiled without talking as the song ended. After another few miles, she gently reached across the top of the bench seat and her hand her found the back of his head. Hcrying maner fingers rolled and massaged through his hair as she delivered the most loving half-scratch, half-massage treatment he hadn’t felt in a long time.

He caught her looking at him out of the side of his eye and said, “What’s that look for?”

She kept eye contact and grinned as she said, “This was such a good plan. I’m so happy you’re my man. Thank you making me go on this trip. We both need this, don’t we?”

As they pulled into town that night, he realized he had not even noticed the last 100 miles. While his truck found its own way, he had been traveling on Cloud Nine.

Many women reading this will think I’m full of crap. The men know I’m not.

Remember, the leading man in this story has been married for 14 years, has three kids aged 13, 11, and 9, and he lives in a rat race of work, relatives, friends, home maintenance, and weekend soccer tournaments.

Sure, his sex life could be better. He wishes it was better. He has even looked at some real porn.

But that’s not what he longs for in his heart. It isn’t the loss of sexual intimacy that causes the tear and the lump to form.

It’s the loss of his emotional and sensual connection with his only romantic partner in life. He craves her presence, respect, and trust. She is the only woman who has the power to lift him up and make him want to conquer the world for her.

Yet he feels that she no longer wants to be that woman for him. She gives herself and her energy to just about anyone but him. And it makes him sad. It makes him fearful of his future. The sadness and fear show up in his life as anger.

The Truth Behind His Anger

Anger of this type is a secondary emotion. It is a reaction to the thoughts of what he believes he has lost and of the fear of where he thinks he will wind up.

The dream of “happily ever after” for most men includes the idea of a long-term, committed, romantic, and sexual relationship with a woman who shares his values and desire to maintain a healthy, trusting, respectful, and intimate relationship. The dream is full of good feelings, supportive words, and loving actions.

For many men, it feels like this dream is dying right in
front of him and there is no way to stop it.

Can he be more supportive? Can he be more caring and sensitive? Can he take more responsibility for planning and getting things done? Yep.

He’s been working hard at being better. He wants to be a man that he can be proud of. He wants a woman who is outwardly proud of him and openly appreciates him.

Most days all he needs to keep working is a good head scratch and a loving vote of confidence.

What is she thinking and what should he do?

A Woman Responds
by Grace

Why can’t we touch you in affection right now? Why does it take so long for us to open up to you again, to have sex again?

It all boils down to trust and safety. These are major needs for women.

Why We Don’t Trust You (Yet)

Reason One:  Safety

Please keep in mind that from birth, girls are taught not to trust men. We are all taught, at a very young age, about how to dress and not dress, how to act and not act, where to walk at night, when it is okay to walk alone and when not, don’t “lure” men. Don’t trust men.

To make my point: I knew young male years ago who was a cross-dresser, taking hormones and considering sex-change surgery. When dressed as a female, he very much looked like a very attractive female. One night while walking home alone dressed as a woman, he was sexually harassed from across the street by a group of men. They followed him for more than a block, threatening to rape him. Thankfully they finally gave up and left.

This had certainly never happened to him as a male. He told me it was the most frightened he had ever been in his young life. He had never had to think about whether he was walking alone or not, never thought about having to plan his clothes and his walking route differently because he was a woman.

This is something, unfortunately, that all women have to think about on so many levels—safety. This is in the “DNA” of every female.

I want to be very clear. I am not saying that every man is inherently violent or unsafe. I am also not saying that it’s okay for a woman to see herself as a victim of society. I am saying that in our world, out of necessity, women are taught about their personal safety. It is the world we live in.

To women, touch not accompanied by emotional safety is scary.

Reason Two:  We Need you to be Strong in your Masculine Energy

We need you to be consistent. We need you to be your own man, to stick to your N.U.T.s. We need you to be impeccable with your word. If you tell us you are going to do something, we need you to do that. If you can’t follow through, we need you to tell us as soon as you know that—even about things that seem small to you. Or not only will we lose respect for you, we will begin to feel unsafe with you. kissing couple

And without that safety, we are closed to you—and often even to ourselves. We are waiting for you to offer us strong, directed, safe, Masculine energy. We need to know that you are in it for the long haul, that when we open up and let you see this Pandora’s Box of emotions, you are going to stand strong and not retreat.

David Deida puts it this way: “…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.”

Reason Three:  History

It is not that we don’t want to touch you. We know it’s important. We’re afraid to touch you in affection, because we have seen in the past that you take that as a green light to sex. We don’t feel safe enough yet to have sex. We do not want to send you mixed messages.

When you keep touching us before we trust you enough for that and if you continue interpreting our simple affectionate touches as a sexual green light, you erode the trust even further. In fact, you risk destroying any new trust that might have recently been established.

Please take sex off the table.

Don’t get me wrong, we women love attention, touch and sex! That simple hand on the small of our back as we walk through a door tells us wonderful volumes about your love and respect for us, your desire for us. We women want and crave that too and will always want more of it—unless we are not feeling emotionally safe, unless we feel, even subconsciously, that we cannot trust you for some reason.

And are you only putting effort into the relationship when you think we’re leaving you? Some women don’t want to open up and “let down their guard,” because they know that if they do, you will stop being affectionate, or stop putting effort into connecting with us as soon as you think we have decided to stay.

One woman tells me, “I’m afraid to give in, because every time I do, he becomes an emotional child again and stops doing all the lovely things he was doing to woo me. He starts ignoring me again and taking me and the relationship for granted.”

The Proverbial Bottom Line

Most women are afraid to open their hearts again to their man, because the only thing worse than getting our hearts broken by someone new, is getting it broken by the same man over and over again. It is too painful. (Read: We love you.)

We’re thinking things like: What if he really can’t (or won’t) stand in his Masculine energy for us? What if he can’t be impeccable with his life and his word? What if we open this huge dam holding back all these scary emotions, and he can’t handle all this emotion, all this anger, this fear, the doubt?open to DF

To try and open up before we feel safe enough and trust you enough to do that, feels like a self-betrayal. It feels like we are not taking care of ourselves, like we are compromising ourselves. Like we are just giving in to please you. We know that is not how you really want to connect with us. It is not how we want to connect with you.

The Solution

Please be patient with us and don’t take it personally. We are working on our stuff, our blocks to opening to you. If we compromise our own safety by having sex with you before we are ready, you would lose respect for us on a very deep level. We would lose respect for ourselves—and for you.

We know you’re sad, fearful and angry. So are we. We know it took two to get us to this scary place. It is going to take two to get back to trust, safety and love.

Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and foundesteve horsmon photor of Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

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-Planet, 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 Twitter.

what others are saying

grace1 july2014I am a Certified Hypnotherapist, Ordained Minister, Registered Psychotherapist, Metaphysical Counselor, Reiki Practitioner, Artist in Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.

I offer individualized, intuitive sessions for clients and facilitate Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women.

Here’s what others (clients, peers, workshop participants) are saying:

     “I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Grace Cooley for about a year now. In this time I’ve gotten to meet and work with the women who seek her help in being open to their Divine Feminine. These women have achieved a level of awareness and personal power that is rare and alluring. In their presence, my masculine energy FEELS their authenticity, vulnerability, and powerful feminine energy.
      The men I coach with relationship issues are yearning to feel that kind energy from their partners. Apparently, Grace has some kind of gift to create experiences for women which allow them to discover and embrace this energy within. Amazing Grace, I say.”
~ Steve Horsmon, Goodguys2Greatmen Coaching, 970. 484. 8241

“Thanks Grace.
I appreciate so much the opportunity to work with you and look deeper into myself to figure out who I am, what I stand for, and how to be the best woman/person I can be.”
S. in Fort Collins, CO

“Hi Grace,
I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoyed your Divine Feminine class. We were able to get through stuff that would have taken forever to complete on our own. Being more in touch with my feminine self is such a blessing and the insight I gained from your class was priceless. Thank you so much for putting it together and making us feel safe and secure enough to have such a full experience. Looking forward to an encore.
Love ~ J. in Cheyenne, WY

“Grace’s class has helped me with accessing depths of inner strength, wisdom and direction through hypnosis and group discussion. She has a wealth of techniques, is very intuitive and skillful at bringing inner metaphor into everyday, practical application. My relationships with myself and my spouse are better for having taken the class.”
love you,
~ T. in Fort Collins, CO

“Thank you for being my guide on this journey Grace! It has been so rewarding for me and I believe that I am forever changed because of it.”
With gratitude and love,
~ H. in Fort Collins, CO

“My plate was already filled to the brim when I signed up for the Divine Feminine class with Grace.  I signed up anyway because I felt it was an opportunity I should not miss and I was right. I became a stronger and more empowered woman, which is always a good thing.  And at the same time, my heart is more open and filled with more love than it’s been in a long time!  I’m so grateful I took the class!  Grace and the class were amazing!”                                                              ~ B. in Fort Collins, CO

Contact info:  cooley.grace@gmail.com

what I learned from a dating website scam—about myself, about men

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

I was recently scammed via a dating website. I won’t mention which one it was—mainly because it doesn’t matter. When I told close friends about the scam, many of them said it had also happened to them on various other dating websites—so the site itself is not the issue.scam2

I’m also not going to discuss any of the “red flags” I noticed during this experience but ignored for various, probably self-deceptive, reasons – because that would only give scammers ideas about how to improve the scam. But I am going to talk about what I learned.

Because I learned a lot.

There’s a lot of information circulating right now about Masculine and Feminine energy. Women are learning how focused and goal-oriented men are. And women are beginning to understand that this is a big turn-on. There is nothing so sexy as a focused, self-directed man who is going after what he wants – whether it’s a woman, that new job or the big, cosmic, spiritual goal of living his life with scam6integrity, purpose and clarity.

It is simply a massive turn-on to be around a man who is living for himself first and putting all other things second—including me. Steve Horsmon says it well in his GoodGuys2GreatMen blog post. “The truth is, a woman can not help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values.”

I was surprised and extremely relieved that within minutes of publishing my dating website profile, several men already wanted to connect with me. Sometime within the last two years, while I’d worked on my own issues, I had made a new rule for myself. I don’t initiate anything with men. They must make first contact. It was a good rule, trust me.

In those two years I had, once again, taken a serious look at my life, and I didn’t like what I saw. And I believed that if I didn’t like something about my life, I had the ability to change it. I had done it before. I was determined to do it again. I began by exploring and changing the only thing I have absolute power over: what I believe, think and say.

When I looked back at all my romantic relationships, I found that I was always the person to initiate the exchange. In fact, I was usually the person pushing frantically to make it happen. Consequently, I had always been in relationships with very passive men—which I then proceeded to bully into being more masculine. Gawd, I can’t tell you how very embarrassing that was to admit to myself!

I could see that I had always put myself in a self-protected, dominant “masculine” place on the masculine to feminine spectrum. From my research, I began to understand that Feminine and Masculine energies are always seeking polarization and balance. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract. It was no wonder, then, that I had always attracted sensitive, passive, or even “feminine,” men.scam3

I began to pay attention to my own energy and beliefs associated with the masculine and feminine. When searching for why I was so resistant (and even hostile) to receiving men’s masculine gifts/energy, I had to go back to childhood. I realized it was not safe in my childhood to appear “weak” or “less than” by receiving help from anyone—especially from males.

My adult rejection of Masculine gifts was founded upon good reason (survivor of abuse), but had become a defensive, knee-jerk habit that no longer served me. I started by taking the emotional charge off the originating source. And yes, it was painful and difficult to look at and heal.

So having done my work—and still doing my work (lordy, does it ever end?), I was confident I was ready to let men, and the Universe, lead. I just wasn’t so sure how that would look.

I did still have moments of panic, when I wondered if I was truly ready and if I could live the lessons I’d learned or not—but mostly, I was excited to begin something totally new for me: the art of embodying the Divine Feminine and of allowing. After many months of research and healing, I certainly needed the practice of walking around in my new, allowing skin, so I stepped carefully and introspectively into this dating website. I occasionally freaked-out a bit and thought of removing my profile, but I ignored that sensation every time it came up, rallied and kept moving forward.

I let men initiate every connection I made on the dating site. So when one of the men suggested he call me and email me instead of using the site’s messaging system, I liked that he was taking charge of the situation and moving things forward. I agreed and gave him my phone number and email address.

His energy during our first phone call was obvious. I liked it. It was focused, direct. I could tell he had a mission. The mission seemed clear to me. I like this woman. Get to know this woman. During the next few days, he asked direct questions, he expressed interest in me and my life, we laughed a lot together. We were soon talking twice a day, in the morning to start our day and in the evening, before going to sleep. We were also emailing often.

scam1I woke up every morning, remembered and smiled. I could feel my heart sigh happily, expanded and relaxed, felt it stretch inside my chest like a big fat tabby cat with a full belly and nowhere to go. I languished. I turned to greet the sun each morning warming the bed through the window and imagined seeing his sleeping form beside me. I imaged waking him gently and slowly with kisses that would start on the back of his broad neck (he had sent photos of a man—some included a son—another scam victim?). I’d work my way up to his ear and then pull myself up and over him, so that I’d be lying in front of him, still kissing him easily—on the eyelids, the nose…

He would grumble, then smile as he came back up from the deep and pull me closer with a sleepy laugh. I craved that familiarity with him, that habit and ease of intimacy. Every sunrise, upon waking, I was hopeful and happy and imaged some form of this perfect morning. But he wasn’t there yet, and I liked that too, liked the thick anticipation of it. I didn’t want him there too soon.

I loved the feeling of walking around every day knowing we were falling in love with each other as we talked on the phone and emailed each other. I felt like we were becoming a team, and I loved the feeling of him having my back, of having someone who adored me. I felt safer in the world, knowing we were coming together as a couple. With these feelings growing inside me, I walked taller every day—stood up straighter, felt powerful, safe and almost smug in his warm regard.

I felt important to him. I felt his masculine, goal-focused energy directed at me, at wooing me. It felt heavenly. I had never felt energy this intense from a man. Partly, I’m sure, because I had never allowed it. Before this, I had made everything happen—not allowing the man to direct anything.scam4

In hindsight, I know the reason that his energy was so intense was because this was how this man made his living.

Men, being men, are often very focused on their career and making money. One of the ways they show love for their woman and family is to make money. This is one of the masculine gifts they bring to the world. The intensity of that focus on career/job is primal, I think, for men. It is one of the strongest urges he has. The scammer took that directed, intense, masculine energy normally reserved for focusing on a career, because wooing women was his career, and focused that energy on me.

scam5He was confident in his abilities, as odious as they were. It must have worked for him before, because I could feel that confidence. I’m not saying I support him or scams. I think it’s petty, deceptive and sociopathic to even attempt to prey on anyone in this manner.

The point I’m making is this: It felt pretty fucking amazing to be the focal point of that type of intense, masculine energy normally reserved for a man’s career. It was like a highly addictive drug that I couldn’t get enough of, for fuck’s sake.

Gentlemen, I have just handed you the keys to the proverbial female kingdom. Lock and load your first 20-round magazine and fire at will. 🙂

Information Men can take away from this Experience

Take that unbelievably amazing, goal-driven, concentrated masculine energy that you usually reserve for making a living and a career and focus it on your woman once in a while. We don’t want you to give up yourself and your life for us—that is extremely unattractive, and we will lose respect for you if you do that. But we do want, on a regular basis, to feel that we are, in that moment (or those twenty minutes), the single most important thing to you.

I’m talking about the concentration and focus that you point at work, your career—that primal energy of survival, because that’s where your next meal is coming from. Focus on us like you do it for a living, like your life depends on it. We can feel the difference.

As women, we understand the courage it takes to be that vulnerable. We have a deep respect for that—especially when it comes from a man.love blue

You become our hero when you do this for us. Because you care enough to really pay attention and then act on it. You know the perfect time to call us, how to touch us, when to tease us and when not to—all because you took that how-can-I-win-this-contract way of thinking and applied it to your wooing of us and turned it into the how-can-I-win-and-keep-her-heart-and-respect way of thinking.

Please lead the way for us, with your strong, directed masculine energy. Because when you offer that to us, it creates a safe place for us inside the protection of your love, your attention. It frees us to be able to do the same for you.

We women, with our seemingly scary, out of control, multi-tasking brains, will know you really see us and hear us when we turn off the hundreds of simultaneous thoughts, when we put down the phone, close the laptop, stop talking, etc., to concentrate on you and give you our undivided attention and vulnerability, when we genuinely open to you.

And when that shared focus becomes a wonderful habit, something that is a part of the normal, everyday way we love and live together? Dude, you have just become a girl’s dream come true right there.

What I am Taking Away from this Experience for Me

I learned that I really can embody Feminine energy. I was able to be the new, feminine person I wanted to be. I learned that I am able to keep my heart open during a budding relationship. At no time during the experience did I become defensive or reactive. I was just relaxed and allowing. I let him direct himself. I directed myself—powerfully and softly.

godess blueAnd while I felt disappointed as soon as the proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath me (which really felt more like a magic carpet ride, in this case), I never felt like I had done anything wrong or stupid. I still have not felt any shame. Because the only thing I was “guilty” of was being authentic, open and vulnerable.

I got to feel what I’ve always been missing and craving without even knowing I had been missing and craving it: to be the occasional, appropriate, single, determined focus of a man’s goal-oriented attention.

The experience gave me an example of how intense that focused, masculine energy could be—and how important and cherished it made me feel to be the recipient of that, how it filled me up to feel that coming from him. I was his goal. It felt stunning. For the first time in my life, I felt that with a confident man’s support and love, I could meet him there and support and love him too—in the healthy, adult, juicy, wild, authentic and close-to-the-bone way I have always wanted to be able to love. scam.8

I feel like I actually won, somehow, because while he got no money from me, I came out on the other end of a scam feeling empowered and richer.

The story continues here with:  The first phone conversation, or the fine art of penis thrusting.

Also published by The Elephant Journal

Hypnotherapy Workshop: Open to Love. Open to Your Feminine Essence

Presented by Grace Cooley, Certified Hypnotherapist

Open to Love
Open to your Feminine Essence

For Women Only—Single or Partneredgodess blue

Open your heart, life and body to allow Real love. Connect with the juicy, sacred, powerful Divine Feminine Energy that you really are.

We’ll explore the polarization between feminine and masculine energy, talk about how to activate your own feminine energy and stay in that space. We’ll discuss specific issues you have (or have had) in your relationship(s) and how to resolve them from a respectful, feminine perspective. This class is not about manipulating men or any other superficial issues. This class is about discovering your own true vulnerable self and being able to live from that place of power. When we live from that place of authenticity, we can’t help but improve our entire life—including all of our relationships.

This is an invitation to you to journey with the group to Find, Heal and Release the Subconscious Blocks – those aspects of yourself – that are keeping you from experiencing deep, satisfying, vulnerable love. You are safe here.

open doorAre you wondering why you are attracting the same type of partner each time – one that doesn’t satisfy you? Do you imagine yourself in a much better, fulfilling life and relationship than the one you are currently living? Do you wonder whydf blue your man doesn’t seem to be very ‘masculine’ and what part you play in that? Do you feel that you are not worthy of love?

Are you self-protecting so much that even while in a relationship you feel unfulfilled?

Your mind is 15 – 20% conscious and 80 – 85% subconscious, and when the conscious and subconscious minds disagree, the subconscious thought/belief will always win. Your beliefs create your life – for better or worse. mandala1.jpgYou are constantly – even when sleeping – emitting your very own, unique, signature frequency. And when that frequency is fueled by unconscious, and often limiting, beliefs you are going to manifest that – no matter how much time you try to spend thinking good thoughts and saying positive affirmations. hand heart

The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/
The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/
The most important thing about the subconscious mind you need to know is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of whether you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort.Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/your-subconscious-mind-can-do-anything-how-to-use-its-power/

We need a way to release those hidden beliefs in order to get the conscious and subconscious working together. When the subconscious supports and agrees with your conscious goals, you unleash your maximum potential. And hypnosis is recognized as one of the most effective ways to access and affect the subconscious mind. Ninety percent of men, women and children easily learn hypnosis. It is an education-communication system that allows the conscious and subconscious to communicate and then believe the same message and be on the same page. Hypnosis automatically reduces stress, creates greater clarity, improves focus and enhances subconscious functions. You can even teach your body to regulate ‘automatic’ responses like blood pressure, wound healing, etc.

I am always honored to be allowed into your personal, sacred mind-space during hypnotherapy and group sessions, so rest assured that you are welcome and safe here.

goddessinthewombofvoidEven after the first session you will already feel lighter, more relaxed and open to allowing vulnerability in yourself and others. And it just gets better from there, as we continue in a safe, supportive environment to gently peel off the layers of you that need validation, love and healing.

Each class will include group hypnosis, ‘homework’, journaling and sharing (at your comfort level). Wear comfortable clothing, bring a water bottle, something to write with and something to write on/in. Consider using a special journal to document this freeing, powerful journey for yourself—who knows, you may find, at some point, that you are writing the next best-seller!

This series will assist you in changing the way you define yourself as a woman. We will help you find, connect with and live from that Powerful, Divine part of you. You will blossom and begin to love & respect the Strong, Powerful Woman that you really are, and when you do that, you also begin to love, trust and respect others—you begin to Allow, you begin to respect and trust men and the Masculine aspects in your partner and potential partners. You will free yourself to receive the Masculine gifts offered to you by all the men in your life when you allow your own Feminine side to emerge.loverock

We will gently dive into:      

~ Introduction to Hypnotherapy and the Divine Feminine/Masculine

~ Find and talk to the Wall (your subconscious beliefs/blocks) and the Guard

~ Gently heal those subconscious beliefs by going into the Secret Garden

~ Release the Past utilizing the Fire of Transformation

~ Journey to the Garden of the Soul and unite and activate Her Presence in your life

~ Meet your Future, Sexy, Powerful, Divine Self and draw upon her wisdom

Times:  Monday nights – 6:30pm – 8:30pm 

Location:  NW Fort Collins, CO

Investment:  The full tuition for the 6-week class is $279, but if you make your payment more than 1 week in advance of class, you pay only $249. This is a $600+ value if done in individual sessions. 

What to Bring: Water bottle, Pen/Pencil & Journal.

Space is limited in each class, so contact me to reserve your seat and find out when the next class starts:  cooley.grace@gmail.com 

Find out more about Hypnotherapy and Grace.

We also usually use one of our 2-hours sessions for time with Certified Life and Relationship Coach, Steve Horsmon. Past groups have found his session so very informative and helpful!

steve horsmon photoSteve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder of Good Guys 2 Great Men. With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships. You can connect with him via Facebook too.

Grace Cooley is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO,gracethanx2013.3 USA. She sees 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—yep, they do exist. She writes for elephant journal and The Scarlet Orchid. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

Hypnotherapy Class Series: Open to Love

presented by Grace Cooley, Certified Hypnotherapist, Registered Psychotherapist
with special guest speaker Steve Horsmon, Certified Professional Life & Relationship Coach

For Women Only
Single or Partnered

Open your heart, energy, life and body to allow love
Connect with the juicy, sacred, powerful Divine Feminine Energy that you really are

open-hearts

Discover and Heal the subconscious beliefs/blocks that are
Keeping You from Experiencing Deep, Satisfying and Fulfilling Love
Take Charge of Your Life

Are you wondering why you’re still single, when all you want is to be in a fantastic, loving and fun relationship? Are you already in a relationship but can’t figure out why you seem to be on the outside looking in at it – why you can’t seem to really connect with and surrender your heart to your lover? Do you attract the same type of partner each time you try a new relationship?  Are you afraid to commit to him/her and a relationship?  Are you fearful of repeating the same mistakes you made in your last relationship?  Is your partner not “manning-up”?  Is THIS something you’d like to be able to play with in your life?

heart strawberryThis 5-part series (*plus bonus presentation By Steve Horsmon, professional Life and Relationship Coach*), utilizing Group Hypnotherapy, Journaling and Energy Work, will assist you in pinpointing, healing and releasing the issues/beliefs that are blocking your success in relationships of all types – especially romantic relationships.

Each class will include group hypnosis, journaling and sharing (at your comfort level).
Bring something to write with and something to write on/in.  Consider using a special journal to document this empowering journey for yourself.

I hear from women all the time who are having difficulty manifesting the relationship they want. They are working hard; they meditate, they visualize. They can’t understand what is wrong – why they have been praying, meditating and visualizing for years about this issue without seeing the results they want. They call me wanting a reading, so I can tell them what their Guides are saying about how to get what they want and when that will, hopefully, happen.

heart rock zipperYou may be familiar with the Law of Attraction – you get from the Multiverse what you put out to the Multiverse. What some don’t realize is that everyone emits their own, signature, unconscious frequency at all times. And according to the Law of Attraction, the Universe/Multiverse responds to give you more of whatever you are broadcasting. But what if you are broadcasting unconscious frequencies/beliefs that are sabotaging your relationships? Beliefs that are buried so deep that you aren’t even consciously aware of them? We will only receive from life, relationships and the Universe what we are inviting in – with the frequency we’re putting out – so we will be looking at how our beliefs and attitudes might be holding love, relationships and people at arms’ length. For a great perspective on this subject, check out this article.

krishnaHypnosis is like meditation or visualization or like daydreaming – only with the added benefit of having the Hypnotherapist there to keep you on track. Because my mind tends to wander when I meditate. Does yours too? That’s why I’m here, to help keep you focused from a gentle, outside, detached-from-the-issue place.

open-your-eyes-to-the-beauty-around-you-open-your-eyes-to-the-wonders-of-life-open-your-heart-to-those-who-love-you-and-always-be-true-to-yourselfTogether, we will gently ask your subconscious to reveal what is holding you back, so that you can offer healing and release to the subconscious beliefs/blocks to you living your best, most happy relationship. I am always honored to be allowed into your personal, sacred mind-space during hypnotherapy and group sessions, so rest assured that you are welcome and safe here. Even after the first session you will already feel lighter, more relaxed and open to love. And it just gets better from there.

I’m not in a romantic relationship either – and I want to be. So I know this class is just as much for me as for you. Let’s discover, together, what will open us to love.

It is such an exciting corner to turn when you take charge of your life and start to live the life you really want to live – when you learn how to find, change and heal those unconscious beliefs that are holding you back from being your very best, authentic Self!

heart rockClass info:

Tuesday nights – 6:30pm – 8:30pm in Downtown Fort Collins, CO
RSVP for location of classes and to reserve your spot – space is limited.
Please be prepared to take all the classes, as they build on each other

March 4 – Introduction to Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, and the Divine Feminine/Masculine – Assemble your Inner Team: Find your ‘Safe Place’, Inner Advisor, and Divine Feminine & Masculine Aspects

March 11 – Find your block(s) to love/happiness

March 18 – Heal and Release the block(s) to love/happiness

March 25 – Release the Past and Limiting Soul Contracts

April 1 – *Special Presentation by Steve Horsmon, Certified professional Life & Relationship Coach – “Your Feminine Power: Three Secrets to Helping Him Meet Your Needs”*

April 8 – Meet your Future, Sexy, Powerful, Self who is already in a wonderful relationship

$110 for all six sessions – paid at the first class, or $20 per session each time (a $600+ value if done in individual sessions)
cooley.grace@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Find out more about Grace here and right here.

steve horsmon photo

*About Steve Horsmon*
Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life and Relationship Coach and founder of Good Guys 2 Great Men.

With a long corporate career in leadership and organizational training and development, Steve is a lifelong student and “passionate pursuer” of the communication and personal development skills required for healthy and satisfying relationships.

As an expert on relationship issues affecting single, married, and divorced men, Steve emphasizes the importance of men achieving clarity of their personal values – or Masculine Operating Principles. In addition to making commitments for personal improvements, his clients are also expected to become serious students of women, the nature of emotional safety, and human sexuality.

Using his consistent message of “we are absolutely equal, but we’re not the same”, Steve helps men choose to make changes within themselves that can lead to mutually rewarding intimate relationships with women. These changes are for one reason only – it helps them become the man they want to be.

Steve strongly believes in relationships built on an equal partnership of trust, respect, emotional safety, and intimacy. Men and women share the responsibility for making it happen. Steve coaches men on the power of choosing to “go first” with confidence and clarity. Many of his client referrals come from wives and girlfriends.

Find more information and an extensive blog archive at www.Goodguys2Greatmen.com. Find  his FaceBook page here.