Changing Sexual Genders with All Eyes On You

Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F.contributing editor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”

Jenner tells Bissinger about how she suffered a panic attack the day after undergoing 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15—a procedure she believed would take 5 hours. (Bissinger reveals that Jenner has not had genital surgery.) She recalls thinking, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came to the house so Jenner could talk to a professional, and assured her that such reactions were often induced by pain medication, and that second-guessing was human and temporary.

Jenner tells Bissinger the thought has since passed and not come back: “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”

Bissinger spent hundreds of hours with the man the world knew as Bruce Jenner over a period of three months, and then countless hours with Caitlyn, also attending the photo shoot with Leibovitz at Jenner’s Malibu home.

Bissinger apologizes to Jenner for repeated pronoun confusion and asks whether she is sensitive about it. “I don’t really get hung up,” she tells him. “A guy came in the other day and I was fully dressed—it’s just habit, I said, ‘Hi, Bruce here,’ and I went, Oh fuck, it ain’t Bruce, I was screwing up doing it.”

Bissinger speaks extensively with Jenner’s four children from his first two marriages—Burt, 36, and Cassandra, 34, with first wife Chrystie, and Brandon, 33, and Brody, 31, with second wife Linda—and describes an insensitive father who had been absent for years at a time. Jenner openly acknowledges mistakes made with them as Bruce, and expresses genuine regret. Says Burt, “I have high hopes that Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce. I’m very much looking forward to that.”

For the Jenner children, the issue of the transition has become a non-issue. They were already aware of their father’s identity as a woman when he told them individually about the transition—Burt and Cassandra had learned from their mother roughly 20 years earlier, when they were 13 and 11; Brandon had assumed it because of the obvious physical changes he had observed; and Brody was told by his mother when he was 29. They tell Bissinger they feel both happiness for their father and inspiration at Jenner’s bravery, and they all still see their dad as their dad regardless of any gender label. Brandon said he was a little taken aback when he saw Caitlyn for the first time after surgery and she pulled her top up to reveal her new breasts. “Whoa, I’m still your son,” he reminded her.

As part of the transition, Jenner started hosting small gatherings called “girls’ nights” with wine and food where Jenner could dress as desired and feel natural in the presence of women, and it was there that her daughter Cassandra met Caitlyn for the first time. “I was just nervous that I wouldn’t make her feel comfortable,” Cassandra tells Bissinger. “I was worried I wouldn’t say the right things or act the right way or seem relaxed.” But almost all of it melted away when she got there. “We talked more than we ever have. We could just be girls together.”

Despite the renewed relationship with their father, the Jenner children have refused to participate in Caitlyn’s docu-series for the E! network, set to debut this summer, forgoing financial gain in favor of preserving their father’s legacy. Initially, Caitlyn was “terribly disappointed and terribly hurt,” but has come to accept their decision. For her part, Caitlyn is prepared for the criticism that it’s a publicity stunt: “‘Oh, she’s doing a stupid reality show. She’s doing it for the money. She’s doing this, she’s doing that.’ I’m not doing it for money. I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. [I have] house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. Yeah, this is a business. You don’t go out and change your gender for a television show. O.K., it ain’t happening. I don’t care who you are.”


Jenner tells Bissinger that since the Diane Sawyer interview aired “it’s exciting to go to the mailbox, because I get letters every day from all of these people from all over the world.” One of them was addressed “Bruce Jenner, Malibu, California,” as if she had become her own country.

Bissinger writes that Caitlyn seems happy and relaxed, with a sense of purpose and confidence. She can’t wait when she goes out now to tell the paparazzi to “make sure it’s a good shot,” instead of asking patrons to help shield her from them in the parking lot of the local Starbucks. She looks forward to more girls’ nights “where everybody is treating you the same way. You can talk about anything you want to talk about. You can talk about outfits. You can talk about hair and makeup, anything you want. It becomes not a big deal.” She says that on the E! series she will focus on ways of lowering the rates of suicide and attempted suicide in the transgender community, among other issues.

Jenner tells Bissinger that Bruce was “always telling lies.” (She even describes doing public appearances after winning the gold medal, where “underneath my suit I have a bra and panty hose and this and that and thinking to myself, They know nothing about me. . . . Little did they know I was totally empty inside.”) Caitlyn, she says, “doesn’t have any lies.”

“I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live,” Jenner tells Bissinger. She then jokes, “I’m not doing this so I can hit it off the women’s tee,” but she does tell Bissinger that on her E! show she plans to do a segment in which she sees if she can still hit a golf ball 300 yards off the tee, even with her very ample breasts.

Also in the story, Bissinger speaks at length with Jenner’s three ex-wives (including Kris about what she knew and when she knew it); with Jenner’s 89-year-old mother, Esther, about the possible motives behind her son’s transition; and with Jenner about how she was moved by Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk, and how she reacted to the Diane Sawyer interview.


Curated by Karinna
Original Article

How To Remain ‘Sexy’ For Life

These simple tips will keep you healthy and feeling flirty!

Don’t let your age keep you from experiencing the pleasures of intimacy. Although libido may lessen as you age, here’s how to feel sexy for a lifetime.

As you grow older, it’s easy to lose that spark in the bedroom. Boredom, loss of adventurousness, physical ailments, and other problems can challenge even the healthiest of relationships over time, causing a loss of libido and creating emotional distance. But keeping intimacy alive can have profound effects on your life.

Research shows that healthy people have better sex lives. Fit people enjoy sex more and have lower instances of sexual dysfunction that can impair their love life. If you’re experiencing a loss of intimacy, there are steps you can take to reclaim it. Here’s how to feel sexy again.

Intimacy Tip No. 1: Stay Healthy

To keep your libido revved for lovemaking you should: Exercise regularly. Your arousal depends in large part on how well blood flows through your body. Regular aerobic exercise helps keep the heart pumping and the blood flowing.

Eat right. Eat a diet low in fats and sugars and high in fiber and good nutrition. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, plenty of whole grains, and a good daily amount of low-fat dairy products. Protein should come in the form of fish, poultry, and lean meats.

Sleep well. Good, healthy sleep gives your body the chance to refresh and recuperate. Stop bad habits. Alcohol and tobacco can harm sexual function and can negatively affect your overall health.

Relaxing In Luxury Bath.


Partners with a satisfying sex life talk to one another; those with an unsatisfying one need to talk to one another.

Voice your concerns. Tell your partner about changes in your body that worry you along with any other issues that bother you about your sex life.

Describe what makes you feel good. Your partner can’t satisfy you if he doesn’t know what you desire. Don’t criticize. Focus on what he’s doing right, rather than pointing out the things he’s doing wrong. Talk at the right time. During lovemaking is the right time for discussing what you like and enjoy. Save your concerns, worries, and more negative issues for outside the bedroom.

Improve Your Own Game

Try these ways to be a better lover: Think about sex. The brain is an important — some say the most important — sexual organ. Get your head in the game by thinking about your fantasies and desires more often. Write down your sexual fantasies and share them with your partner.

Touch. Maintaining physical affection is critical to keeping a love life happy and frisky. Cuddle, hug, kiss, and hold hands often, even if you’re tired or not in the mood for sex. During lovemaking, experiment with touching your partner in ways that please and arouse him.

Educate yourself. There are plenty of self-help books available that will give you tips on improving your sexual technique.

Passion Portrait Of Couple In Love

Intimacy Tip No. 4: Have Fun

Don’t forget that sex is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Be sure to have fun in the bedroom (and elsewhere) by: Trying out different sexual positions. The tried-and-true missionary position can become stale. Experiment with new positions.

Taking a break from intercourse. Try pleasing each other with oral sex, manual sex, massage, and caressing. Being inventive. Leave love notes. Plan an erotic getaway. Try making love at different times of the day. Read a love poem. Craft a scene that appeals to all five senses. Try having sex in different locations.

Most importantly, have sex and enjoy intimacy on a regular basis with your partner.


Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Powerful Way to Prevent Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Could the key to ending rapes lie in a clinical trial? 

An intensive program showing female college students how to recognize and resist sexual aggression reduced their chances of being raped over a year period by nearly half, according to new research.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the effects of attending a four-session course in resisting sexual assault to a more typical university approach of providing brochures on sexual assault.

The program is one of the first to demonstrate success in a controlled trial — and among the first to be published by the medical journal, best-known as a forum for clinical drug trials.

The study comes just weeks before colleges and universities across the country are required to detail how they will deal with sexual assault. Those reports, due to the U.S. Department of Education on July 1, are mandated by the 2013 Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.

At least 1 in 5 women has been a victim of sexual assault that occurred while she was attending college. By far, most of the attempted or completed sexual assaults on college campuses are perpetrated by classmates, dates or acquaintances of the victim.

Freshman and sophomore women are thought to be at the greatest risk of sexual assault.

Experts say the ubiquity of alcohol, freedom from parental monitoring, and an atmosphere that celebrates macho and athletic bravado are all factors that foster sexual assaults.

Canadian psychologist Charlene Y. Senn, lead author of the study, said that the socialization of young women often prevents many would-be victims from acknowledging and responding to a sexual predator in ways that will thwart an assault.

Young women arriving at college have widely been socialized to be friendly and likable, which can blind them to the aggressive advances they might encounter at a party, she added.

In 2005, Senn devised a curriculum to help young women overcome the emotional barriers that delay or prevent their recognition of sexual aggression and respond to it.

Over four three-hour sessions, the course worked on skills to assess, acknowledge and, if necessary, rebuff unwanted sexual advances.
Those sessions included instruction in recognizing sexual coercion and the circumstances in which it can take place. Participants also had two hours of self-defense training based on the martial art Wen-Do.

Experts caution that reducing sexual violence by focusing on a victim’s will or ability to resist has fallen out of favor in recent years.

In their place are programs that address the motives of potential perpetrators and energize bystanders to intervene. Such approaches place the blame for sexual assault squarely on the perpetrator.

By focusing on a potential victim’s power to thwart her attackers, some experts warned that such a program might contribute to blaming victims.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Kathleen C. Basile, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote that the study’s “primary weakness is that it places the onus for prevention on potential victims, possibly obscuring the responsibility of perpetrators and others.”

But teaching women how to identify and resist are still important strategies, Senn says.

Between September 2011 and February 2013, 893 freshman women at the Universities of Calgary, Windsor and Guelph in Canada took part in the study.

Holding three-hour sessions on weeknights and marathon sessions on weekends, Senn and her coauthors put 451 women through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, discussions and self-defense classes aimed at helping them define their own sexual desires and boundaries, recognize and discourage sexual aggression and resist an assault.

The remaining 442 women were assigned to a control group, in which they attended a 15-minute session and were provided brochures on sexual assault.

About a year after the sessions ended, Senn and her colleagues surveyed the participants, asking detailed questions about their sexual contacts in the preceding year.

Among women offered the brochures on sexual assault, 9.8% reported they had been raped and 9.3% reported they had been the intended victims of attempted rapes.

Some 40% reported other nonconsensual sexual contact, in which they experienced unwanted sexual touching or fondling.

An additional 14% said they had been subject to coercive sex in which a perpetrator pressured or manipulated them into compliance.

Among women who got the resistance training, 5.2% said they had been raped and 3.4% reported attempted rapes — reductions of 46.3% and 63.2% respectively.

Rates of nonconsensual sexual contact reported by this group were 34% lower than those in the control group, and reports of sexual coercion were roughly 24% less common.

Sarah Yang, a 2014 graduate of UC Davis who was president of that campus’ Women’s Health Initiative, said publication of the study in a medical journal boosts the profile of the issue.

“It validates campus sexual assault as a public health issue — and that’s huge,” said Yang, an aspiring physician. “It’s national now. It’s international.”

Senn emphasized that training only women to avert sexual assailants addresses just part of the solution.

“There’s no quick fixes,” she said. “We have to make stopping sexual violence everyone’s problem — everyone’s business — to hold men accountable, to support victims. But we also need to give women the tools they need to fight back.”


Curated by Timothy
Original Article

My Name is Alexandra, and I am Co-Dependent

I felt wrong. All. the. Time. I couldn’t figure out if I was being abused or if my lack of understanding of any boundaries were closing in on him and he was responding accordingly. Probably both. I underestimated the power of infatuation.

When Jonathan called, his voice was bright and excited. At this point, I hadn’t thought much of him other than that he dressed well in vintage and was a fun person to talk to. By the end of the night, after inadvertently getting caught up spending several hours talking, he was the first to acknowledge the spark, and asked if I wanted to kiss him. I blushed, sputtered out an excuse, and stared straight forward at my steering wheel. I felt something, but at this point it was premature; and my gut clenched up.

As the back and forth in planning our next meet-up transpired, it began to occur to me that I really did want to see him again.  Every moment we were together, I found myself swept away and I couldn’t (and had no desire to) shake the daze I found myself caught in.

Between my frequent flyer points and his impressive gifts of return flights surprise trips to Toronto, we somehow saw each other every couple of weeks for the rest of the year. I began making plans to shift my work over to LA as much as possible. We nearly missed every return flight as our feet dragged behind us to the airport to say goodbye, and saying hello never came soon enough.

Of course, the other shoe always loomed above our heads, ready to drop at any moment. I often found myself saying something that would set him into a tailspin, and I would scurry to pick up the pieces. I could never figure out what I was doing wrong, and he would withhold the answers judiciously, like they were part of a test I never read the textbook for.  He was very smart, experienced and appeared to have his life together. I was over a decade his junior;  though I knew I was smart and capable, I followed his lead like a lost puppy. I was his ball of wax to mold; except that beneath the wax were my previously existing flaws and human characteristics that were not at all complimentary to his. They were eager to poke through at any inconvenient moment.

As you might imagine, the cracks in our love turned to canyons, and I found myself in a deep hole. I had gone deeper into debt attempting to keep everything afloat in a foreign country, blinded by my ambitious romantic entanglement, without any real plan. I returned to my mother’s house in my hometown to start over from scratch in my late 20s along with my bruised tail between my legs.

Each morning, I would attempt to go for a swim in a nearby pool. My body felt so heavy and tired, like I was carrying around a deadweight with my head attached to it. Swimming made me feel temporarily lighter and relieved and I could quiet my mind for a few minutes. It was the only thing I could convince my body to do aside from gluing myself to my computer. What I was going through felt like an emotional rock bottom. I had put every last egg in one basket with reckless abandon. This has been something that has served me with unbelievably unique and remarkable experiences and opportunities. But those experiences sometimes went the other way and led to disaster. In this case, it shattered me. I was devastated to a point that it had occurred to me that my breakups felt like a death. An extreme feeling that it occurred to me might not be normal.

My addiction, as it turned out, was people. More specifically, I used relationships to help me feel whole. The amount someone cared for me seemed tantamount to the number of gestures they would produce that showed me this; washing my car or building me something or even just letting me be the little spoon when cuddling, made me feel loved and therefore special and gave me value.  Which stands to reason that when that person decides not to “do” these things, I feel slighted, hurt and empty. My whirlwind romance had become a drug for which I was compromising every aspect of my life; my finances, my stability and any semblance of a healthy interaction with anyone around me.

I had remembered a friend mentioning an organization which was called Co-Dependents Anonymous, modelled after the 12 step programs for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As fate would have it, there was a group within walking distance of my mother’s house in the middle of a suburban wasteland. I added this to my short list of things to get out of bed for, and started attending regularly.

For the first month, I had been a shadow of former extraverted self and quietly listened, shell-shocked, to the familiar stories of those around me. I was not alone, and as unique as I would love to believe myself to be, every story I heard felt like a chapter from own experience. These people were me. For the first month, I quietly wept at every single meeting, but would almost always compose myself enough to collect some thoughts to share and kept moving forward. It helped to hear from other people who were at various stages of pulling their shit together and learning what healthy boundaries felt like.

While I began to piece my life back together, I took a couple of interim jobs in depressing call centers lined with mini-cubicles, headsets and the color grey. I filled the time between calls working on the program’s steps and finding balance. I talked objectively to more people one on one than perhaps I ever had in life, alternately asking people survey questions or helping file insurance claims. As removed from my career path as it all was, I was good at it; I felt like I was contributing something constructive to the universe. This helped me feel human and that I had worth. I began to feel lighter and more awake as I readied myself to jump back into the life I had left hanging.

It is at three months when you are considered a recurring member of a 12 Step Group, and can be relied upon to participate in such things as chairing meetings and handing out commemorative chips. I mentioned to some of the members in charge of organizing the meeting for that week that I would be picking up my three month chip that night. The woman on the schedule to chair that evening, graciously offered me the opportunity to lead the meeting for the night. It remains one of my most fulfilling moments, being able to stand confidently in a leadership role in front of the group who had seen me in my most fragile, broken state, as a person who could smile with a genuine warmth from inside. The icing on the cake was having the opportunity to help a newcomer at her first meeting. I picked up my chip, held some hands, submitted my requisition with the universe for serenity and headed back to LA.

For more information, visit and feel free to reach out to me if you are struggling with your own codependence.




Unleashing your inner Wild W.O.M.A.N.

I’ve promised to explore each of the letters in W.O.M.A.N, and so I want to begin with the “W,” wild.  When I speak of wild in all that I write, I am not speaking of the Girls Gone Wild, MTV version or the kind that emulates male promiscuity.  I speak of a primal wildness borne of the soul and rooted in our bodies.  It is a most crucial aspect of who we are as women, and sadly a place most never visit within themselves or share with another.  That other is the truly wild man (speaking as a heterosexual woman), and I’ll get to him a little bit later, but let’s focus on the Wild Woman for now.

As I often share from my life, I can speak about the Wild Woman from a place of deep personal knowing.  She is the creature that feeds and renews my soul, and always has been, even before I knew her name.  So often in my life people refer to me as a “creature,” and it always makes me smile, because it means that they can “see” that wildness in me, front and center.  There is a duality in us as women – a tenderness of heart and this wild creature.  We are socialized to love and treasure that heart, and burned at the stake when we celebrate the wildness.  As you read this, see if you can call up a memory, a time in your life that you felt truly free, alive and instinctual.  If you can, then you have known your Wild Woman.  But don’t despair if you haven’t.  She is and always has been with you.


Of late, I’ve found myself ruminating on past relationships and realized that I have almost always let my heart, and not my Wild Woman choose my partners.  With the exception of one man, who was truly wild, they were not.  What I also realized is that because my Wild Woman was not part of that decision making process, but such a huge part of who Gina is, she ultimately was the one who made me move on.  I had not integrated her in my relationships, but she was fully present in my aloneness.  And so after what was usually several years, she would whisper or yell loudly, depending on my level of disconnect from her at the time, that she was bored and unfulfilled and would ultimately lead me out of every relationship of which she had not been a part from the beginning.  And then I would languish with her for a very long time in my aloneness.  This is part of the duality of which I speak.  Somehow we end up needing to be alone to feed her, and she will not go hungry, let me tell you!!!!!!  But having known one wild man, I know there are more.

Some women are afraid of their Wild Woman.  Many women experience her for the first time in dancing or in their sexuality.  Since society has tended to label us as promiscuous for enjoying our bodies and our sexuality (or witches!), most women subscribe to that in large or small part, and just send her packing.  But she will not be silenced for long.  For some reason in my own life, she has always been the voice I hear most clearly, and is the reason I crave freedom beyond all else.  I was never a woman who daydreamed about a wedding, and in actuality saw marriage as a prison for women.  I feel my wildness in my very core, and would rather be alone than to be with a man who is not truly wild.

So what is true wildness versus the idea that wildness equals naked bodies acting crazy?  We have all seen nature programs on TV.  When you watch wild cats or wolves stalk, hunt and devour their prey, you don’t judge them or call them bad.  You recognize that this is nature; natural, wild and pure,  that those animals are acting instinctually.  They don’t judge themselves or their actions.  They are simply free and true to what they are.  They live as their nature instructs them, through all of their senses.  They eat when hungry, sleep when moved to, have sex when it feels natural to.  They are naked and wild.  To live in harmony with our instincts and our senses, animated by our souls is what I speak of as wildness.
Does it make your heart race to see wild animals hunting one another?  Yes, but it is survival and it is part of being wild.

I love not knowing what I’m going to do next.  That might sound peculiar, but it’s the truth.  Living in total harmony with my Wild Woman means I don’t know what’s next.  I am a slave to the drives and hungers of my body most of the time, and what those are vary from day to day. Needless to say, being this way can scare people – men specifically.  My daughter also tells me that I scare her sometimes because I am unpredictable, though  not in a bad way.  What I have learned is that in honoring her, my Wild Woman, I can live, really live free.  Whenever I feel imprisoned in my life, it is because I have not fed and cared for Her.  And when I do, I am electric, fearless and attract-ive.

One of my favorite books is “Women Who Run With the Wolves,” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It is filled with stories about the various aspects of our instinctual natures as women.  She speaks of the duality of woman in this way: “Anyone close to a wildish woman is in fact in the presence of two women; an outer being and an interior criatura(creature), one who lives in the topside world, one who lives in the world not so easily seeable.  The outer being lives by the light of day and is easily observed.  She is often pragmatic, acculturated, and very human.  The criatura, however often travels to the surfaces from far away, often appearing and then as quickly disappearing, yet always leaving behind a feeling: something surprising, original, and knowing.”

She is the part of you that is inspired and unpredictable.  She is the part that draws people to you in an inexplicable and compulsive way.  They don’t know what it is about you, but they can’t take their eyes off of you.  She is the part that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, especially when you are naked.  If you feel at all afraid of this part of yourself, please don’t!!  You must simply remember that she is YOU.  You can begin to get to know her at any time.  How?  It’s really very simple, as she requires little to feel fed.  Sensuality is a very big part of the Wild Woman, as it is in the animal kingdom.  Pay attention to how you move through space, what you smell, what you see, how things taste and feel, what you hear, and what you sense.  That sixth sense is so present in animals, and it is in woman as well.  Simply begin to explore it.  I suggest picking one sense a day and zeroing in on it as much as you can throughout the day, until you can begin to integrate all of them at once.  Eat with your hands.  There is something very sensual and primal about using your hands to put food into the mouth – yours or someone else’s. Let your hair down!  Seriously, if you tend to wear it up or control it with clips and bands, let it be free.  Try to stay as close to your natural state of beauty as possible.  For example, I have very curly hair, thanks to my ancestral gumbo.  When I have occasionally decided to wear my hair straight, I’ve found that I can’t take it.  It makes me feel contained and restrained!  I end up washing it by day’s end to get back my curls.  They are how I was born and they are a part of my integral wildness.  Find yours!  This may sound cliched, but take off your clothes and walk around naked.  Love your body as a woman’s shape, and let go of self-judgment about that size and shape.  Find some music that is dripping in percussion and dance to it until you are dripping in sweat. Move your hips, move your hips, move your hips!!!  They are the seat of a woman’s soul.   There is nothing like drums to bring you to your wildness and your primal truth.  And make sounds from your throat, especially when you are having sex, but when you are dancing, too.  When your hips are moving, let the sound move from your throat and past your lips.  Hips and lips are intimately connected.  A woman’s whose hips are free, can also express herself freely verbally.  There is an esoteric connection between the throat and the vagina.  To open them both is to achieve ecstacy – and to share it with your partner.  Estes offers this in her book: “The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what is it that YOU want.  This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt.  One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.”

There could not be a discussion about wildness in its true, primal sense, without sex being part of that.  To really express it, we must free ourselves in our sexual expression.  That means that we need to have a partner that respects and understands our sexuality.  If you are wild and free and he is not, then you will not be able to go where you would like to.  If your partner doesn’t respect your boundaries, or where you are  with your current sexual expression, it will not work.  Respect and trust in bed is primordial.  Be sure that you enforce your own boundaries, so that you can attempt to arrive at a place of no boundaries together.  Love and sex are unquestionably the best of all, as long as both lovers are free.  I really believe that love is a free spirit, and one must be free to embrace it, for the spirit of love dies in captivity.

And finally a few words about the Wild Man.  Not the promiscuous dog we all hear about.  Not the man addicted to pornography.  He is the Wild Woman’s mate, truly, and a very rare find.  I believe that men are looking for and long for him as much as we long to love and connect with our Wild Woman.  I just think they are lost and confused for the most part, as they are trapped in society’s imprisoning ideas of masculinity.  Here is what Clarissa Pinkola Estes says about the Wild Man: “We know that the creature, Wild Man, is seeking his own earthy woman.  Afeared or not, it is an act of deepest love to allow oneself to be stirred by the wildish soul of another.  In a world where humans are so afraid of “losing,” there are far too many protective walls against being dissolved in the numinosity of another human soul.  The mate for the wildish woman is the one who has a soulful tenacity and endurance, one who can send his own instinctual nature to peek under the tent of a woman’s soul-life and comprehend what he sees and hears there… so, the wildish task of the man is to find her true names, and not to misuse that knowledge to seize power over her, but rather to apprehend and comprehend the numinous substance from which she is made, to let it wash over him, amaze him, shock him, even spook him.  And to stay with it.  It will make her eyes shine.  It will make his eyes shine.”

We all know the expression that men are dogs.  Well, they are, but on a soul level, it’s a compliment.  Wild Man’s dog nature is his instinctual nature, that which allows him access to the Wild Woman.  Estes says, “It is the dog-self that learns to overcome superficial seductions and retain the most important knowings…the dog is one entire side of man’s dualistic nature.  He is the woods nature, the one who can track, who knows by sensing what is what”    (about Wild Woman.)

I’ve had these dreams lately about dogs.  I’m not much of a dreamer by night.  I think Carlos Casteneda would call me a stalker.  Usually I just crash.  My mind is so active by day, and so when I dream, I pay attention.  I’ve seen the dog nature of man in these dreams, and it’s not the colloquial slur.  They represented a deep love from the heart, a love that flows easily and long, forgives effortlessly and can fight to the death to protect you.  These are qualities that, to me, are very appealing in a man.

So find your Wild Woman.  Make regular dates with her.  Integrate her into the fullness of your life.  Let her scare you, but don’t walk away from her.   You can’t.  When we choose not to know Her, our lives fall apart and we lose touch with what it means to be a W.O.M.A.N.  Love her and let her love you.  She is pure, wild beauty.

If you’d like to take the first step to awakening your wild W.O.M.A.N., please join me for a 2-hour interactive webinar that will change your relationship to how you feel in your body, ELEVEN TOOLS TO HELP YOU LOVE THE BODY YOU LIVE IN.

And please share this post if it moved you…or made you feel like getting on all fours…


With fierce, wild love,

Gina Cloud

Dakini Revealing the Wild Untamed Feminine Soul

My passion is creating sacred sensual and erotic avant-garde art that honors the depth, “duende”, and shamanic power the feminine soul and beloved union. Deep hearted sensuous feminine creativity is an expression of Dakini wisdom. It’s not a logical linear way to awakening, evolution, or change, but instead opens and liberates the personal and cultural ‘mind/body’ through wild, untamed love, beauty, and mystery in every undulation.

This piece is called “Red Love”. Usually when I film, I’m expressing an embodiment that allows my individual persona to dissolve, and the embodiment to emerge and merge. This video however, is more personal. I’m looking deeply into the witness, revealing hidden secrets that now wants to be seen. Interestingly, as personal as this was, the finished art once again transcends me, into an feminine archetype of liberation.

Creative expression, especially empowered sensual feminine expression, is a powerful symbol of liberation. Not only of equal rights on a sociological scale, but of liberation on the Divine scale- to truly be our fullest potential. To have the freedom as a woman, psychologically, emotionally, and culturally to artistically and sensually express what is deepest and truest of her soul, without being shamed, beaten, or in some countries killed, is a torch of liberation. I feel every women, who has the freedom to express her light, and does so, illuminates the dark corners of our cultural psyche, as well as a path for others to express their sensuous hearts.

“Red Love”

Videography, Embodiment, Music and Editing: Kalista


Ways to Feel More Confident and Sexy

It’s not just about attracting someone — real sexiness is the total confidence that can make you feel smarter, funnier and better in every area of your life. Here’s how to be a bit more like that every day.

“Feeling confident about your appearance is the first step to genuine sex appeal,” says says Eve Marx, author of Beddington Place: Watch Your Back, Cover Your Tracks and contributor to Give yourself permission to invest in how you look — whether that means a visit to the makeup counter or a new haircut. It’ll change what’s inside, too.

Take an art class. Or book a last-minute weekend getaway. “Novelty is the greatest aphrodisiac,”says Sandor Gardos, Ph.D., and founder of When you live in the moment, anything’s possible — and that’s exciting, and sexy.

After a hot shower, massage your body with lotion, instead of just slapping it on. Or give yourself a relaxing neck rub. “I brush my skin with a soft brush every morning when I wake up,” says Mary McGuire-Wien of New York City. “It makes my skin feel much more alive.” Natural health advocates believe that dry brushing reduces toxins, sloughs off dry skin, and may help fight cellulite.

Play up your eyes with a new eyeliner, or try a different gloss on your lips. Or, if you normally go natural, put on heavy mascara. “When you feel beautiful, you feel sensual,” says Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light. Take the extra three or four minutes to primp yourself and feel pretty — just for you.

Part your hair on the other side, a teeny move that has a whopping effect. Oh, and every once in a while, you’ll have to toss the falling strands back – and you know the coquettish hair toss does to men.

Wearing something with lots of buttons will naturally turn undressing or a wardrobe change into a striptease as you linger over each button.

Just knowing you’re reading something risque in public sure to give you a teeny confidence boost. “Erotic novels give women ideas.” Says Marx. “They respond to stories that fires up their imagination.” Mr. Grey, here we come.

When was the last time you invested in a good bra? “Most women are wearing the wrong bra,” Marx says. “Don’t be scared to spend money on good lingerie. The right foundation will make you feel like a million bucks.”

Slow-dance. Really close. Fitting together so snugly and swaying in sync is unbelievably sensual and intimate. It’s almost like making love.

Wear slightly smudgy black eyeliner for that smoldering temptress look. Appearing slightly unkempt — as if you just had a roll in the hay — is incredibly provocative.

Honestly, when was the last time you really doted on your guy? Forever ago? Well, pretend he’s a new beau and chuckle at his jokes, suggestively touch his forearm and make coy comments. You’ll feel kittenish — the way you did when you first started dating.

Every now and then, take a break from blow drying and styling your hair. That slightly tousled, sexily untamed mane will bring out your wild side.

Ever wish you were Joan Holloway from Mad Men or Eva Mendez any day of the week? Pretend to be them! “It’s fun to get out of your head and role play,” Marx says. Next time you’re in a funk and want to feel sexier, emulate your favorite leading lady, and feel your confidence skyrocket.

“How do you ask for sex,” wonders Catherine Cardinal, Ph.D., author of The Ten Commandments of Relationships? “You probably mumble it with downcast eyes — couples make less eye contact as years go by. Look directly at him the next time. It’ll remind him of the days when he couldn’t take his eyes off you.”

Get in touch with your body by treating yourself to a sensual foot massage. You have thousands of nerve endings in your feet, and stimulating every one will send bolts of electricity through you. Start with your thumbs in the center of the bottom of your foot and walk them up toward your big and pinkie toes so they’re gradually moving away from each other. Then, alternating thumbs, stroke along your arch. Finally, massage each toe, rubbing from bottom to top while pulling it slightly and rotating it in a circle.

Just because it’s winter and you’re all bundled up doesn’t mean you can’t expose yourself a little. “Invest in nice tights,” Marx says. “Great hosiery is a boost to feeling sexy.”

Don a silky cream-colored bra (no padding, please). Your guy will go gaga seeing the outline of your nipples through the glossy, smooth material – and it’ll be a whole lot more comfortable than some lacy number.

“Add the element of doubling,” says Barbara Keesling, author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Girl Sex. “Hold his kiss for twice as long. Take twice as much time to unbutton every button.”

Light a scented candle in your den or break out those candlesticks for a romantic dinner. Candlelight casts a warm, cozy glow over everything and everyone in the room and is so much more flattering than harsh lightbulbs. You will — literally and figuratively — see yourself in a new light.

You may not be auditioning for an ingenue role, but it’s fun to pretend! While he’s watching you, arch your back so your butt sticks out seductively, lengthen your arms up over your head so your exposed stomach is pulled taut and reach for the heavens. It’s invigorating…and titillating. The worst that happens: you giggle and come away with a cute story.

Just casually run your hands over your hips as if you’re smoothing down your skirt or pull the neck of your top over toward your shoulder and adjust your bra strap. These moves are so feminine, you’ll feel like a total sexpot. Plus, men go crazy watching a woman caress her own skin.

Is there a perfume that reminds you of a particularly spicy night with your man? Wearing that certain scent throughout the day will act as an aphrodisiac, making you feel and smell sexy.

We know you love your husband, but sometimes it’s an ego boost to get a little harmless attention from someone other than your man. “Innocent flirting is meant to make you, and hopefully the other person, feel a little bit better about yourselves. Just be careful who you engage in this recreational flirting with,” Marx says. “Keep it light, keep it brief, and most of all, don’t do it at work.”

How can you not feel hot-to-trot when you strut your stuff? The how-to: Loosen up your hips and let them swing from side to side; if you put one foot right in front of the other, it’ll force you to naturally sway. Remember to stand up straight and stick out your chest a bit. And heels (even low ones) do wonders for a woman’s sashay.

Not a good dancer? Who cares? Turn on your favorite tunes and just let go. “When you move your entire body to a beat, you start to love how it feels and embrace what your body can do,” says Vanessa Isaac, the creator of Hip Brazil Dance and Fitness. “Awakening your inner rhythm awakens your sensuality.”

Just because you’re going to sleep doesn’t mean you can’t take a few minutes before bed to indulge in some sexiness. “Take a shower before bedtime, then skip the PJs or nightgown,” Marx suggests. “There’s something undeniably erotic about slipping freshly shaved, bathed and moisturized, naked between the sheets.”

Make a pact with your husband to set tomorrow’s alarm 30 minutes earlier, and rise and shine for some naked cuddle time before the day overwhelms you.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Body Positive… Big Girls Can Wear a Bikini

“Bikinis don’t look good on bigger girls,” is the statement she’s addressing here, and her response is perfect: “I’m going to have to disagree,” Lane notes.

Loey Lane has become one of the most influential plus size fashion vloggers on YouTube in the past two years. And there’s no doubt that Loey Lane swimsuit videos are among some of her most popular uploads via her channel, which — ICYMI — has 359,000+ subscribers to date.

Lane’s fashion and beauty repertoire on YouTube is quite extensive as she covers everything from skincare to makeup to shopping to fashion to, of course, outfit posts. Weaved within her videos is a body positive theme that’s hard to deny. Though the comment section on many of her videos is often littered with haters and people who try to discourage her outlook on her own body image, there is also a ton of solidarity — making it obvious that viewers the world over have found her encouraging viewpoints on being a curvier, fuller-figured woman enlightening.

Last month, Lane shared a video to address some of the grief she had been receiving for wearing swimsuits in photographs and videos. The four and a half minute reaction, entitled “Why Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Bikinis,” has come to media attention this week, leading to her thoughts on the so-called reasons that plus size women shouldn’t wear bikinis garnering over one million views.

Here are just seven body positive points Loey Lane makes in the video, all while wearing a killer bikini.

1. No one human or entity can decide what’s attractive or what’s not.

loey lane

“Bikinis don’t look good on bigger girls,” is the statement she’s addressing here, and her response is perfect: “I’m going to have to disagree,” Lane notes.

She pokes fun at the fact that some people act like the general consensus from YouTube commenters is the “be all and end all” when it comes to a fashion verdict. But trolls’ words mean nothing, and they just never will.

2. No one can dictate what you put on your body

loey lane

Even though the thought of seeing a bikini on a plus size woman might still make someone bigoted individuals uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean you have to live by their standards. Basically, Loey Lane reiterates that what you want to wear and what you feel comfortable in are no one’s choice but yours.

Lane also makes the point that most of the time, thinner women are never asked to not wear a bikini or revealing clothes, even if some people’s aesthetic preferences lean towards fuller figures. So why should plus women be treated any differently?

3. Wearing a bikini as a larger woman is not an effort to make people believe they should be bigger, too.

loey lane

I love how Loey Lane puts this into perspective. In her video, she notes that it’s not like she’s laying out on the beach stuffing her face with junk food as a way of “promoting obesity,” (although it’d be her choice and her choice only to do so), as some critics suggest she and other plus women wearing a bikini are doing.

It’s as simple as this: Plus size women are only promoting self confidence regardless of size. That’s it.

4. Plus-size women are often misunderstood when they do “healthy” things.

Lane makes an excellent point here by reenacting a hypothetical scene of her with a bowl of fruit. A voice says in the background, “Look at her trying to pretend to be healthy. Go get on a treadmill.”

Plus women are criticized when they don’t “embrace a healthy lifestyle,” (“healthy” as defined by the mainstream, because there are many different ways of being/looking heathy, of course), but then they are equally criticized all the same when they share gym selfies or pictures of a banana. This type of standard is absurd and unnecessarily cruel.

5. Plus-size women in bikinis are NOT asking for your feedback.

loey lane

Lane also addresses the idiocy behind the comment that “if a plus size woman wears anything revealing, she’s just asking for someone to shame her.”

Here’s the thing: Most people don’t actually want Internet trolls or IRL bullies to say negative things about them. And the way women dress is by no means an open call for others to vocalize their opinions. Loey Lane basically says that if you don’t have anything good to say, why say it at all?

Are You Paying Attention to Your Sexual Soul?

Ignoring this vital source of life has caused a lot of pain and distress for many people. Making peace with it, though, can open you up to deep wells of pleasure.

The human desire for connection runs deep, like a river that winds through an individual’s heart. If this river-like phenomenon can be compared to human sexuality, then it can run through different rhythmic patterns.

Some spots will be filled with passionate torrents; others will be serene and calm. Maneuvering along this river in a boat named “LIFE” is truly one of the human being’s greatest adventures. From a soul perspective, sexuality is a merging of both masculine and feminine energies into one. We all have these special gifts that lie within us.

Yet there can be so much confusion and angst within a person who is lacking this spiritual, sexual intimacy. An artist has found a way to bring these elements to life through their work. When the creative’s connection to intimacy gets stifled, then there is no energy left for creation. What causes this lack of creativity? It might be that the sexual soul has suffered an interruption in its internal program of love and light.

A picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words. One famous picture of art deftly displays the power of mixing masculine and feminine energy, awakening the sexual soul to life. In the artwork, both man and woman are represented as streams of energy merging together. The male’s energy enters the woman, and flows through her body to the crown of her head. The woman’s energy flows out from the crown of her head into the crown of the man’s head, thereby resulting in a never-ending circular stream of energy between both people.

The sexual soul’s purpose is to keep us alive and vibrant. Honestly, though, the struggle to make peace with this sacred part of our humanity gets short shrift. There are men and women who have suffered deep scars and wounds from sexual abuse and degradation in their formative years. Responsible adults took advantage of them, making these precious young souls their sexual playmates. I use the term “playmate” carefully because the harm that comes from this abusive way of life sends the sexual soul reeling for its own true path. People can get caught up in abusing their sexuality through daily use of prostitutes, pornography or even cutting themselves from the shame, guilt and fear that haunt them.

It is clear to me that some people find using prostitutes and pornography in their sexual lives as no big deal. So be it. Moralists definitely have trouble reconciling anything like this concept within them. Sometimes, it is the moralist who finds themselves engaged in these activities under the shadows of the night.

What does healing from this behavior look like? Certainly, there must be a better way than to cut off all sexuality from a person’s life. Look friends, while monks and nuns take vows of celibacy for their religious orders, it is hard to believe they don’t have sexual energy within them. They are living, breathing human beings. Therefore, they must have this vital source of life flowing through them, too. Of course, you can definitely make the case that this is not so and say that I’m reaching for some nebulous idea that makes no sense. That’s fine. Just remember, though, that the same energy that flows through you flows through me. It can be at different levels because of lifestyle, environment, false beliefs, true beliefs, etc. But I cannot deny the fact that I have a sexual soul. You do, too.

Writing about this subject matter for me is quite challenging. I have to dig deep within my own sexual soul to come up with words. There is nothing wrong with the fact that I have a desire for a healthy, loving, intimate, sexual relationship with a woman. Yes, I know there are men and women who will read this and are my LGBT brothers and sisters. I’d want the same thing for you, too. One theory bandied about among people looking for a more intimate path involves developing this type of connection through acts of service. From being involved with causes that matter to you personally or giving time to charitable organizations and groups, among many other types of service, it gets a man or woman out of their own inner struggle (if there is one) and allows a soul to mend. This can bring a lot of fulfillment and gratitude to an individual while he or she seeks nurture and security.

The sexual soul, again, is a vital part of life. It is the life force that helps bring human beings to life. Doesn’t it make a little sense to take time and really grasp what may cause you from enjoying this aspect of life? It would take another column for me to explain all the ups, downs and circles involving my own sexual soul over my lifetime. There have been relatively few healthy sexual experiences. I’ve delved into, for me, some of the darkest areas around sex that no person should be left to explore by themselves. The atypical “dark-room-and-socks” experience has typified my sexuality for far too long.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to move from this place into a spot where I can deeply appreciate my own sexual energy. I don’t waste it on experiences that deplete this source of love and intimacy. My sexual soul is active and vibrant, despite not having a girlfriend in my life right now. Opening myself up to new ways of intimacy is not easy. It’s scary and frightening, yet I’d rather take this path now than continuing on an internal mission of soulful destruction.

As much as my own sexual soul deserves attention, so does yours. I am definitely not the final answer when it comes to human sexuality, and for that you can be grateful. However it looks and whatever form or destination awaits you, I highly recommend giving your own sexual soul the love, attention, nurturing and grace that it so deserves. You will be a better person for doing so, and the world will bow at your feet.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

How to Have Empathy and Speak Up for Myself

I was seething but there was nobody to direct my anger because he hadn’t done anything intentionally harmful.

In one night, I experienced a perfect storm of disrespect at a comedy show that I was booked to perform on.

I came out as a transgender woman a year ago, and since then, I’ve received lots of support, but I’ve also heard many people mistakenly refer to me as “he” instead of “she.”  I understand that it’s hard for people to readjust since transgender issues are relatively new to the mainstream, and I’m sympathetic that most of my friends have had to refer to me using male pronouns for most of my life.

With all that in mind, I entered the comedy show knowing that mistakes would be made; I just didn’t know how pervasive it would be.

As soon as I entered the venue, the host called me “bro” three times within a minute.  I went to correct him and he apologized, but a few minutes later, he made the mistake at least six more times in ten minutes.

Eventually, he said, “Can I ask you some questions?”

Even though I was annoyed, I was excited that he was at least trying to learn and be educated, so I was eager to help.  “Sure,” I said.

He began telling me about “a man” he saw at a different comedy show who was wearing a skirt and boots, and this man would try to smile at others to put them at ease.

The host continued, “And I thought about how hard it must’ve been for him, because I’m sure that he knows deep-down that everybody is looking at him knowing that he’s actually a dude.”

I was too heartbroken to respond — especially since what he said was so well-intentioned — because I knew that it was how most people actually saw me.  They saw me as a man in a dress.  The host was just articulating in an honest manner, and his words are what I imagine most other people — even most of my friends — actually think about me.

My girlfriend spoke up, “Are you sure he was a man?  This person might’ve been a transgender woman.”

“Oh,” the host continued.  “I don’t know the difference I guess.”

He got up and left.

I was seething but there was nobody to direct my anger because he hadn’t done anything intentionally harmful.  A couple of minutes later, another comedian entered the room and looked me up and down.  “So, you trying to be a girl or something?  Or what’s the deal here?”

I took a deep inhale because I didn’t want to snap at her.

“Robin’s a transgender woman,” my girlfriend answered.

The comedian responded, “Oh, cool.  That’s in season, huh?” she joked.

Later when she was onstage, she made a joke about a woman with a mustache, turned to me, and said, “But not in a tranny way.”

I tried to be patient, and I even smiled at her when she made her joke because I didn’t want her feeling bad.  But in reality, I felt really angry and unbelievably depressed.  On the ride home, I was crying and screaming in the car, and I had a panic attack.

“I look so stupid,” I said out loud.  “I can’t believe I’m putting on makeup and dresses.  What’s wrong with me?  At least they were honest.  I know that’s what everybody thinks of me.  I’m just a man in a dress!”

Luckily, I had therapy the next morning and I told my therapist about this whole incident.  As she began expressing her anger over what had transpired, I got very defensive and started pleading with her that nobody had done anything wrong.  “It was the society that we were all brought up in,” I said.  “They tried their best and I had no basis for getting upset.”

She slowly asked me, “Do you want to know what I think is part of the reason why you’re so upset?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you give everybody an out.  You give everybody else an excuse as to why they can mistreat you, so you have nowhere to direct your anger.”

I sat back and thought about it and I realized that she was right.  In my attempt to be completely empathetic, I offered way too much sympathy as well.

But there was something I couldn’t reconcile.  “They tried their best though.  How can I get mad at them?”

My therapist shook her head.  “No, they didn’t.  They could’ve made more of an effort.  They could’ve been respectful.  You can be empathetic, you can be compassionate, but you’re also allowed to be angry when others mistreat you.”

This was a concept that I had never thought of before.

My therapist helped me realize that it’s okay to ask for what you want, and it’s not unreasonable to request that others respect you.  It was an empowering message that I needed to hear because I had been putting myself down for the comfort of others.

She also told me that it’s okay to be empathetic without being sympathetic.  I can see things from other people’s positions without excusing their behavior.  The example she used was if someone changes their name and someone repeatedly mispronounces it, the person who mispronounces the name shows a lack of effort on their part.

When she used that example, the floodgates opened and I began letting loose and screaming about the host and the comedian from the show, wishing they would’ve tried harder.  I realized that making the same mistakes ten times in one night showed that they just didn’t care very much.  I realized that while it’s not their job to care, it’s also not my job to placate them when I feel disrespected.

The balance for me is still very challenging.  Asserting my needs is hard enough, but I’m also afraid that if I begin speaking up for myself, I’ll start blaming others for my anger instead of owning up to my feelings.

The way I’ve reconciled this is by absolving myself from being concerned with how others feel.  I trust myself enough to not hurt others intentionally, and if I do, I’ll apologize.  But I’ve stopped presuming that any type of correction or speaking up for myself is a burden on another person.  I can ask for what I want without constantly worrying about what this does to other people’s feelings because I’m also entitled to respect.  This doesn’t mean I have to be harsh; I can speak the truth while also being tactful.

I think that being empathetic without necessarily being sympathetic is a great compromise, especially when you feel anger and resentment rising up.  If you’re constantly catering to other people’s needs without thinking about your own needs, your level of internalized anger will increase significantly.  Conversely, if you’re vilifying others and labeling them as a “bad person” without any empathy whatsoever, you’ll become overly resentful of others.

Asserting yourself while being empathetic to others is a very freeing feeling.  When you direct your anger at the right people without perceiving them as a “bad person,” you’ll get the anger out of your system before it simmers and gets out of control, and you’ll feel a sense of self-respect.

No matter how much you understand another person’s positions, you should speak up for yourself anyway because your voice deserves to be heard.

You Are the Love Affair

A journey through the dimensions of your being, from soul to the Infinite Abyss; then forward as consciousness fully embodied into the Infinite. A direct path to authentic being. One can spend years in meditation or stripping layers of emotional wounds and shadows. These are honorable and meaningful practices, however, there is a more direct path. Entering into the Abyss at the core of being, all that is not truly you is dissolved effortlessly. Layers of inauthenticity, “seeking energy”, reaching, pushing, trying… dissolve. What remains, is simply and profoundly your true essence. It is the deep home coming, connecting you directly with your Source, aligning you with the true heart and depth of your unique being and creations.

YOU are the LOVE AFFAIR of the Infinite Abyss and Everything Arising. You are the miracle in between that love. Simultaneously Nothing and Everything, birthing something exquisitely new in every eternal moment.

How My Relationship and My Self Esteem Benefit from Meditation

I started with just five minutes of a guided meditation in the morning…

A little over a year ago I was suffering from anxiety, low self-esteem, and I felt paralyzed by fear. I’m a natural-born worrier, but this was different. It felt irreparable. My emotions began to take a toll on my physical health, including severe stomach pain which caused me to go to the emergency room, where I was prescribed medication to treat my symptoms. seek medication for stomach pain. I blamed my stress on a lack of a steady job and inadequate income. My relationship with my boyfriend, which had been so solid, had turned rocky. I found myself fixating on things that I never had before. We live together and if he didn’t buy toilet paper, for example, you would’ve thought I caught him having an affair.

But it was only until I looked inward, that I truly began to understand the root of my problems. I was the one causing my inner stress and inner turmoil; therefore, it stood to reason that I also had the power to transform it. I decided to seek the help of a friend who had struggled with anxiety and she told me about meditation. Like many of you, I’ve heard the benefits of meditation touted spouted for years, but I was convinced that this practice just wasn’t for me. I’m just not patient enough to just sit. I’m restless. It’s simply a waste of time, I told myself thought to myself. I had my morning routine already, coffee, a shower, and out the door. I am a creature of habit, and though this routine wasn’t serving me well, I clung to it. Feeling as low as I did, however, was the catalyst I needed I was ready to change.

I started with just five minutes of a guided meditation in the morning, and though I didn’t feel immediately transformed, I did notice that I was able to take on the challenges of the day with ease and a lightheartedness that I hadn’t felt for a very long while. For example, when I missed the subway, that morning, for example instead of dwelling on the frustration of the later train’s crowded morning commute and how I might get in trouble at work, I let the anger roll off my shoulders . I noticed the mood shift within myself and continued to meditate every morning since then.

Before I started meditating, when I would come home to find a messy kitchen, I would react angrily before thinking. I would yell at my boyfriend, place all the blame on him, without even asking wondering how his day had been was. Through mindfulness meditation I’ve learned to be patient, compassionate and more understanding, which I came to realize is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Through meditation, I realized my expectations of what should happen were unrealistically high,held too high, so high that I was judging my boyfriend and other people, when I felt they had made a mistake or didn’t act accordingly. Though it has taken a long time, I am now able to see beyond my judgements in order to distinguish the reality behind a situation.

Letting go of negative thoughts and recognizing them for what they are, merely thoughts, I found I had stopped judging myself so harshly. My self-esteem was greatly improved, I felt confident in myself once again. I realized that my low self-confidence was a result of false beliefs about myself and my capabilities, I was judging myself just as harshly as I was my boyfriend. Meditation helped me see past these negative perceptions.

Meditating helps me to slow down and not get caught up in my anxiety. If I find myself feeling overly stressed throughout the day or following a worrying thought down all the possible negative outcomes, I take just 30 seconds to focus on my breath. Inhale, exhale, repeat, and then, I return to the present. I let my negative thoughts pass on by. I breathe in the present moment and exhale all expectations. Through meditating, I’m able to find the joy in every moment, because there really is so much to be grateful for.

How to Help a Partner with a Mental Illness

There is such a stigma attached to various mental illnesses.

Most people suffering tend to keep it a secret to those they don’t know, for fear of being labeled as “crazy”. When it comes to having a romantic partner, it can be difficult to open up.

Telling your partner about your struggle takes a lot of bravery and trust. If your partner is understanding, that is a very good sign. If not, they aren’t worth staying with. A good partner is one who accepts every part of you. Because that’s all mental illness is, really. Just another part of what makes you as a person. It dictates your strengths and weaknesses, and controls what makes you tick.

For those of you who have a partner with a mental illness, it can get frustrating at times. You want to be able to help your loved one through their struggle, but it is not always effective. This isn’t your fault. It is just as much out of control for your partner. Mental illness is just like any other illness.

There are plenty of ways that you can support your partner through their struggle. Here is how:

1. Understand that your partner is not one to be “dealt with”.

If that’s the perspective you have about the situation, then that’s already a major issue. No one should have to be dealt with. People are not to be dealt with, mentally ill or not. Instead, learn to cope alongside your loved one. Attempting to escape out of fear will help no one.

2. Educate yourself.

Learning about your partner’s mental illness will help you understand where they’re coming from if they become distant or moody. It will also help you realize that their mood is not to be taken personally, and is typically a side effect of whatever is going on in their head. It will mean the world to your partner, as it shows you are committed and willing to sympathize with them and their struggle.

3. Accept that sometimes there isn’t much you can do to help.

Sometimes someone struggling with mental health problems is consistently in emotional pain. A lot of times, loved ones can give up on them, saying that they don’t know what to say or do. They feel like they’ve exhausted their resources and have no more advice to give. But a lot of the times what a mentally ill person seeks is not advice, but just someone to listen and be physically and emotionally there for them.

4. Communicate openly with your partner.

Allow them to communicate with you. Encourage them to speak their mind and tell you exactly how they’re feeling. Listening to them can help them make sense of what’s going on in their brain, and your support and open mind will help them recover from any sort of anxiety or panic they may be feeling.

5. Help them help themselves.

Encourage them to seek therapy, go to support groups, and generally reach out when they need it. As stated earlier, sometimes there isn’t much you yourself can do, and getting them to seek professional help is sometimes the best solution if things get particularly bad. Go with them to the doctor if they ask you to or are afraid to go alone. If they’re in a really bad place and feel suicidal, don’t hesitate to take them to a hospital. Not doing so is harming rather than helping, and it’s imperative that you support them through trying times.

6. Create a safe environment.

Every human being is entitled to feel safe and loved. Sometimes those with a mental illness feel that they do not deserve this basic right, that they are evil or unworthy of love. This simply isn’t true. A safe environment is crucial in the physical and emotional sense. Don’t get mad or frustrated with them so much that they are afraid to come to you in times of crisis. Maintain a safe space where they feel open and comfortable, and unafraid to be vulnerable. In addition, helping them create a good physical environment is also important.

7. Check in on them.

Reminding them to take their pills or eat or any other necessity is a great way to show them that you truly love them. Sometimes your partner may feel overwhelmed or distracted, and will honestly forget. You don’t need to become their keeper, but simple reminders are a healthy way to express how much you care about them.

8. Do not gaslight them.

This is a form of abuse. If there are legitimate problems in your relationship unrelated to your partner’s struggle, do not write it off as just something they’re “imagining” or “making up” as a result of their illness. Let them air their legitimate concerns, and if you are at fault for something bad going on in both of your lives, take responsibility and don’t dismiss your partner’s feelings by insisting that it’s just part of their illness.

9. Don’t tiptoe around them.

You are not on thin ice or walking on eggshells. It is usually not your fault if your partner has any sort of panic or anxiety attack. Treat them how you would treat any significant other, with honesty and love. People dealing with mental illness genuinely want to be treated normally, and doing otherwise can even become a source of your partner’s anxiety.

10. Love them for who they are.

There is way more to your partner than their mental illness. You fell for them for a reason, and what you love about them should be your primary focus. Don’t treat them like freaks because of their struggle. Support them, but also do everything you can to maintain a loving a healthy relationship. They will do the same.


Watch as Mike Lousada talks about ‘Presence’, its meaning, its qualities or the three different components that make up our ability to be present.


How do you demonstrate being present in the moment?

“Wet Gold” (Contemporary Dakini Emanation Art)

Enjoy this Embodied Emanation Art by Kalista

wet goldShe is connected to the cosmos, nature, and Consciousness. All women on some level are Dakinis.

The feminine has a beautiful capacity to infuse hidden secrets into her movements. Hidden secrets are revealed in the undulation of a woman’s body when she is connected to her essence, full potential, and open to potent energy flowing in. This deep hearted sensuous feminine creativity becomes an opening, and expression of wisdom. It’s not a logical linear way to awaken, evolve, or change, but instead liberates the personal and cultural ‘mind/body’ through love, beauty, and mystery.