On The Path To Becoming A Woman In Full

I  sometimes grow tired of the terms “Second Adulthood”, “Divine Feminine”, “Goddess” and even “Mid-Life Crisis. But lately I feel as if I am surrounded by women who might be described with these labels. These women are doing more than stepping forward and asking to be heard – they want action! And what I love about these women is that they are willing to work and take real risks for what they want.
This woman is looking for something more in her life. She is no longer willing to settle for a life that simply nourishes her.

This is a woman that is above the level of survival – she has that part figured out.
Now she is hungering for something that will not only recharge her batteries, give her life purpose, provide her with adventure, but she is also wanting that “something more” to fill her piggy bank.  I prefer to see these women as resilient explorers setting out on an odyssey to live the second or third part of their life – full court, with no excuses for their desires. In my coaching practice, I call these women my “Women in Full” and they are showing up more and more every day. These women have started to figure out that there is a connection between their relationship with their own sexuality and how well they are able to live their lives.  And these women are reaching for the thread and needle, bravely trying to knit themselves a new relationship with their bodies. It’s as if they intuitively know that if they can figure this piece out – all the rest of it will come together.
I am remembering the opening circle at Back to The Body: A Sensuous Retreat For Women. There is a grittiness on some of their faces that communicate  “I was strong enough to show up here – now what are you going to teach me?” quickly followed by “Don’t waste my time.  I am on a mission to recreate myself and perhaps this is a part of the puzzle.”
Oh yes – these women are game.  They are going to get down and personal with each other. Open their hearts and even drop their shorts. They want to find out everything there is to know about being a woman in full because they know that somehow it’s here, inside themselves and they are committed to not stopping until they find the key.…

When Self Loathing Comes A Knocking

Most of us want to feel hot and sexy. We want earth-shattering orgasms – and to feel like those women look in those damn magazines sipping a Margarita with smoky eyes who are about to have the most incredible sex in the universe. Right? Maybe? Who knows – but I hate them.

Self Loathing

Seeing those images can make me feel confronted with what I am not and leaves me with this feeling that I am not enough. More than that – it is this feeling that I will never have in my life what I truly want because I just don’t look like that.

And what is it that I want – you may ask? It’s a simple thing really….I want to be deeply desired, and feel free in my body. I want to be able to know that I am sexy from the inside out and truly believe it – all the time! I want to be able to walk around naked and not worry about my ass shaking in a bad way! And don’t give me platitudes.  I know them so well I could sing along.

I want to get so lost in my own wanton sexiness that orgasms flow from me like a water fall.  I don’t want much – I just want to dance in my own inner sexy wildness! Is that asking for so much?

Lately, as I prepare to go on the first of many healing retreats, I have really been confronted with my own self loathing. It is shocking that I can still go to those places of calling myself names. After all, this true confession is being spoken by a woman who has professed to the world that I have conquered body shame and self acceptance by embracing my sexual pleasure. Am I a fraud – or am I simply real and honest? The fact is – that I have healed so much of the damage that I have walked around with for most of my life when it comes to my body image and my sexuality – but everyday as my feet touch the ground – it takes a little bit of courage to love myself just as I am. And that is the truth – to say anything else would be to over promise healing – like those 30 day miracle diets on television.

Several months ago in Wallstreet Journal there is a great article, Conquering Fear which is all about those nasty little voices in our heads that tell us that we are not enough – that we are fat and stupid. That our bodies are ugly – and that our boss hates us.

My book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner (Rodale January 2011) is all about my funny, sexy, unconventional path to falling in love with myself again in the most unbelievable way…. And I did.

But  every now and then I get tweaked in an unexpected way. There are a few new videos that have been posted of me on You Tube from a conference that I recently spoke at – and frankly they make me cringe. I hope you enjoy them.  They make me cringe.

Every time I watch them – I get taken out of how I was “feeling” when I made those videos and I get stuck in how I believe I look. I hate my neck. My face is too round. I have a double chin in that angle. How did they shoot that angle? And I stop feeling sexy. Instead I get filled with self doubt – and worry. You see – I am a real woman. Isn’t that reassuring? I am not going to give you pleasure platitudes and tell you that if you do this or that – all of your inner fears will go away completely. They don’t. But it can get better.

This is what I can promise. If you work on embracing who you are – every single day just like a religious practice – things will change in your world.

In so many ways – it is like developing a healthy eating and exercising plan. There is a lot of self talk, and self encouragement that needs to happen. I have to do it too – even now.  Especially now! The voices of fear that tell us that we are not enough – or are broken in some way – don’t ever really go completely away.

I hope that by showing up and being honest about how I feel and how I move through all of the hatefulness that I can throw at myself will inspire you to do it too. The fact is that most of the time these days – I feel smoking! I have a swagger to my step – and kick to my heels. I dress like a diva with a wink! And I still feel bad about my neck a lot.  You see – I still  have really big moments of self loathing. It’s all a part of the process…..…

Harnessing The Power Of Pleasure The Joy Of One Way Touch And a Hamburger

Sometimes I have to be reminded to practice what I preach – and that means – keeping the little voices at bay that whisper not so sweet nothings into my ear.  My self sabotaging voices usually have to do with my body – or my ability to create the future that I want.  Even I need to be reminded to do what I  tell others to do – and that is to stay in each moment – and make time to get inside my body and turn my brain off.  For me – the most effective way to get inside my body is through one way touch.

power of pleasure

Literally surrendering on the massage table and allowing my body to open to pleasure and sensation.  Feeling hands on my body reminds me that I am beautiful and full of pleasure.  The dance between the massage therapist and my body – hand on skin – draws all of my attention inside to the feelings of sensation and magically takes away my chronic “monkey brain” that is always worrying about the next thing that I have to do.

I was feeling pretty burned out – it’s fabulous, fun, and exciting to launch “Shameless” into the world – and I have been on a marathon – until January 18th – the publication date – I am also still working full time in fertility (something that will always be a part of me) so that means that every waking hour is devoted to something! A dear friend and mentor spoke to me and said “Pamela – this is not the time to forget what changed your life! You need touch! Get thee to a massage table – and out of that bag of pretzels!” Oh – I did what everyone does – I whined about not having the time or the money – but reached out anyway to the people in my life that support me. And after a few starts and stops – the beautiful and incredible massage therapist  John Ellsworth created time for me to climb on his table.

It’s about receiving – and knowing that the person who is giving is also receiving – and there is nothing to do but be in my own body – feel my own breath – and move into his hands.  The other day I wrote about this study on my Shameless Woman blog over at  Psychology Today that I heard on  The Today Show during their hour long special on sex. The study that was cited was all about how over 80% of all women and over 70% of all men want to be tied up.  This does not surprise me.  They want to be “forced” to receive – “forced” to surrender to pleasure because so many people feel that they always have to give back – always have to “do” in some way – and knowing how to simply receive pleasure is something that is so completely foreign to us – that we want the ropes to enforce the boundary on reminding us to simply receive.  Of course – ropes can feel sexy too! And having the rope on our skin may be it’s own turn -on.  I am just talking about a deeper place of meaning in this blog that the ropes can represent for people.

As for me – I don’t need ropes anymore to encourage me to receive touch.  I just need a gentle or not so gentle reminder from my friends that I too need to create the time just to receive – and for me the massage table is just the thing.  For 90 minutes I went away – and when I came back – John pointed me in the direction of a wonderful little bar to get a hamburger and a martini. A real treat for me.  I walked around the corner – how I got there I am really not sure as I was still a bit punch drunk from all that fabulous touch – and sat down at a table for one.

It was good to be alone. I am sure that I was a sight! With a brand new hair do created by  massage oil and John’s hands – and my slightly glazed over eyes – I was thankful that they seated me! I order my martini as I watched plates of salad go by. No – I wasn’t going to have salad. I ordered a hamburger with french fries. Something that I would never do – it’s a big scandalous for a chubby girl to eat so freely – especially in public. But I did.  I sipped – I day dreamed and I ate that hamburger – bun and all – down to the last crumb.

I sang all the way home my own little mantra – thank you – thank you – thank you!!! Ah the healing power of pleasure – I really need to harness it a bit more often!…