A Call to Arms to Slow the Fuck Down

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// photo : Kwesi Abbensetts

One of the key components to sensuality is mindfulness. And mindfulness, essentially, is about being completely awake to this, the present moment.

But it is very hard to be in this present moment—which is quite glorious, by the way—when we are in a hurried, rushed state (& my goodness, are we often in this state).

Have you ever caught yourself rushing around like a tornado without a real reason for it? Perhaps you’re driving from work & you’re speeding through intersections to get home. Or maybe you’re washing the dishes, clanking pots & almost breaking plates just to hurry up & finish.

And there’s no purpose for it, no need for it, but you find yourself doing it anyway.

Hurry, hurry! Faster, faster! There’s not a moment to lose! Gotta get there!

Rushing around helter-skelter seems to be an intrinsic part of our culture. We’re always in such a hurry, to get there, to finish, to arrive at Destination B so that we can hurry up & get to Destination C.

Is it any wonder why many of us feel disconnected from our bodies, from our experiences, from our senses?

Rushing around kills mindfulness. And lack of mindfulness thwarts sensual living.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!—& thank goodness, because all of this hurriedness leaves me, personally, feeling gloomy, incoherent, & very much not myself.

If we’re here to live life fully through our senses, we need to—& pardon my language—slow the fuck down. We have to. Sensuality does not thrive in a hurried, rushed, go-go-go! state.

So, today. . . I want you to challenge you. . . to go. . . slowly.

Walk slowly. Eat slowly. Speak slowly. Breathe slowly. Take your sweet, precious time.

Be patient—with yourself, with others. Devour each moment inch by inch, second by second. Savor.

One of the easiest ways to be reminded of going slowly throughout the day is to be conscious of your breath. Your breath is a powerful thing because it can act as a metronome for you, one that tunes you in & times you beautifully to the present moment.

So whenever you feel yourself getting carried away & into hurriedness today, take a moment to stop, take in a deep breath, & let it out slowly. This one simple act will ground you back in to your body, slow your heart rate, & bring you back to the present moment, making it much easier for you to go back to slowness.

I should say here that going slowly doesn’t always translate to cool, calm, & collected living. Things will still be hectic, & the world around you won’t cease its hurrying just because you’re trying it on for size.

I also don’t expect for you to live this entire day in languid slowness. There will be many moments today where hurrying might be necessary—say, you’re running to catch the bus or your project deadline is closing in on you.

The trick for you, then, will be to try to find slowness & stillness even in those fast moments. Is it possible? (I think so.)

And of course, it’s going to take many days of practice & patience to continue this kind of slow living—much more than this prompt can allow. But you can take the first step to unhurried living today. All it takes is that one step.

Go slowly.
Take your time.
Savor.

“Feel the pleasure of your own existence.” —David Deida

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This is post is a sampling from Day 15 of my sensual e-course, 30 Days of Sensuality.*

If you’re curious about going deeper in exploring slow, sensual living & if you desire to live more in your body & not so much in your head, this course is perfect for you.

30DOS-ENROLL

*Enrollment closes Saturday.

8 Traits of the Sensually Awake Woman

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// photo from Tumblr

(Pssst! I made a pretty little graphic of these words. Check it out!)

1. She breathes with her whole body, makes sure every cell is oxygenated. Because of this, tension has a tough time staying trapped in her body & her skin always seems to glow. She sees the breath as not only a thing that keeps her alive, but as nourishment to keep her grounded in her center.

2. She’s sensitive to the beauty around her. She notices everything—even the not-beauty—& she accepts it all fully, breathing it in, making it a part of her experience. Through this lens of sensitive awareness, she moves through life fully alert & deeply appreciative. And speaking of moving. . .

3. She moves slowly & intentionally. She doesn’t rush around, because she knows that in rushing she loses contact with her body & her surroundings. She takes her time & doesn’t worry if she’s late. She trusts that when she follows her own natural rhythms, she’ll arrive exactly when she needs to. And somehow, she’s always on time.

4. She makes space for the desires of her heart, her fingers always on the pulse of what it is she really wants. Sometimes she allows her desires to lead her—pulling her in this direction & that. For some, it might seem like she doesn’t know what she wants, but in all actuality she’s quite grounded by the cravings of her body.

5. She’s a fierce pleasure-seeker. She looks for pleasure in everything she does by asking this one question: “How can I make this feel good to me?” This simple question is the golden ticket to her happiness. For her, pleasure is never something to feel guilty about; she wants everything to feel good. That is the main point of her life. And surprisingly, she finds pleasure in nearly everything she does—even sitting in traffic.

6. She trusts her intuition intimately. If pleasure is the point of her life, then intuition is the guide that helps her travel toward this destination. Because it is her intuition that leads her to what is best for her, to what makes her feel good. Trusting this inner wisdom is essential to sensual living.

7. She’s a radical self-care practitioner. She makes sure her cup is filled, that her body feels good, that her mind is clear. And when it’s not, she says No—even if others will be upset or confused. But saying No isn’t the only way she exhibits loving care for herself. Self-care, for her, is about doing little things that’ll keep her steady in her life. And as for figuring out what those little things are—that’s where trusting her intuition comes handy.

8. She always finds ways to arouse her senses. Through music. Through moving her body. Through walking in nature. Through good sex. Through having friendships & conversations that stretch her. Through tastes that make her mouth water. If it’s not going to seduce her senses, even subtly, she’s simply not interested.

If you read this & felt a deep longing to be this woman. . .

It’s time to embrace your depth of experiencing pleasure.
It’s time to come home to your body.

It’s time to uncover your inner Sensually Awake Woman.

Let’s go on a voyage of sensual awakening. Together.

30DOS-ENROLL

Whenever I Have the Chance, I Thank My Body

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// photo : Tumblr

I’ve been getting back into a consistent movement practice lately after months of pushing it aside, & gentle yoga has been my practice of choice. It’s been wonderful for me but surprisingly challenging. My body is definitely a lot stronger than I initially thought, but there are still some poses that stretch me in a such a way that, while holding, I feel like I might fall over in fatigue.

I hate that feeling, I run from it—that feeling of sheer exhaustion, of feeling your muscles stretch & pull, painfully releasing tension. Not having a sense of control over my body’s ability to hold a pose or to stretch fully, & feeling like I am not as strong or loose as I want to be, is discouraging for me.

I struggle with inner cynicism & critique in those moments, hearing & feeling a continuous voice in my head go, “Your body is shaking. This is too hard. You can’t do this.” When I feel that kind of physical & mental intensity, it keeps me from wanting to return to the mat.

I know that the breath is a great thing to turn to when poses in yoga become intense, & when I breathe consciously I find that it lessens that feeling of weakness & exhaustion. The breath also brings me back to the present moment, which can quieten my thoughts.

But breathing doesn’t always get rid of the cynicism in my mind, & it doesn’t keep my thoughts from turning critical—not easily, at least.

One evening, as I was going through my yoga practice & coming into one of the most difficult poses in the class, those negative, faithless thoughts began to swirl up into my consciousness, & out of nowhere, as if I had done this many times before, I began to breathe in a quiet prayer.

I began to thank my body.

I believe I whispered something like. . .

“Thank you, body, for being strong enough to try to hold this pose. Thank you, body, for collaborating with me on releasing this tension in my shoulders. Thank you, body, for helping me show up today & do my best.”

The physical intensity of being in that pose didn’t quite disappear after my prayer, but the dread did, & suddenly, this particular pose that caused me such annoyance before began to melt into an experience of total surrender & softness. I stopped fighting my body in that moment & basked a little in the magnificence of its ability to simply try.

This gratitude prayer is something that I’ve been returning to over & over, not just in yoga but in any moment I’m occupying my body at a time when life feels hard or tedious—like waiting in a long line at the grocery store or putting away a mountain of clean laundry or dealing with self-doubt with my work.

Whenever I have the chance, I thank my body.

And it should be thanked, because what it does for me on a daily basis, often without my own awareness of it, is amazing, stemming on miraculous.

Gratitude for my body helps bring me home to fully inhabit it.

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Quick Tip! HOW TO COME HOME TO YOUR BODY IN ONE EASY MINUTE . . .

1. Breathe mindfully.
2. Bring gentle awareness to your surroundings.
3. Next, bring gentle awareness to your senses—What do you see, hear, feel, smell?
4. Breathe that all in.
5. Now, smile & give thanks.

Or. . . take a more lengthy & luscious journey into becoming a fully actualized Sensual Woman with my e-course, 30 Days of Sensuality.

Fully inhabiting your body & your senses doesn’t have to be short-lived. It can be an ongoing voyage of lush discovery & playful exploration.

And I’ll help.

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I Am Blooming With the Flowers

Spring has always been my favorite season. I’ve always been incredibly fond of this time of returning back to the light, of honoring renewal, of nesting & prepping for new life. But this year’s Spring is feeling especially profound for me.

Not only has Portland had one of the shortest, mildest winters since I’ve been here, but the last three weeks have been sunny, warm, & bright. Today I am wearing a sundress & my hair is loosely flowing past my shoulders. Yesterday I sat on the terrace of my apartment with my man & pup, all of us almost nude, all of us bathing in the warmth of the sun.

Nearly everything is in bloom. And so am I.

I wrote a few months ago about how I am choosing to honor my personal winter—how I’m lying fallow & hibernating like the trees are, like the bears are. Conversely, & in the spirit of Spring, I am coming ever so gently out of my own cave. Like clockwork.

I’ve always been fairly aligned with the seasons, & it’s increasing more & more as I continue to fully inhabit my body & accept its natural rhythms, but this time around, I’m feeling intensely connected with Spring—in the spiritual sense, but most powerfully in a sensual sense.

As I watch the buds on trees burst open, I feel my own heart opening.
As I watch the flowers show off their vibrant petals, I too am taking up space.
As I watch bees busily buzz through each field of pollen, I am inspired to do my own work.

Little by little by little.

I’m choosing to ease myself into this seasonal transition rather than jumping head first into do-ing. Right now, I’m trying to focus on be-ing, basking—a somewhat difficult task, by the way, because the world around me is moving so fast & everyone else seems to be catapulting themselves into action. But I’m doing it, while also honoring whenever my Muses plant seeds of inspiration in my body (& they’ve been very busy as of late).

I have some very exciting things coming up for me, work-wise, personal-wise. And when I’m ready, I’ll share it here.

But for now, enjoy this little ode to Spring I made.

My man & I took a nice long walk through our neighborhood & into the forest on a bright, sunny Wednesday, & I stopped pretty much every two minutes to capture the flowers’ glorious blossomings.

When I look at these flowers, I feel as though my body is filling with vibrating, warm light, which I imagine is activating my own inner blossoming. For I am blooming with them too.

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I want to do with you what Spring does to the cherry trees. . .*

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The blooming. The opening. The taking up space. Let’s do it together.

30 Days of Sensuality is a four-week e-course on the art & reclamation of your sensual nature. Its mission is to get you to slow down & experience the full range of sensual pleasure in your body by way of thirty fun course prompts, each one playfully inviting you to explore your capacity to feel & enjoy.

This course will blossom you into living fully through the senses.

Mark your calendar: Enrollment opens Tuesday, March 17th.

*Original poem by Paulo Nerudo

How I Had the Best Orgasm of My Life*

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// photo by owlwise12, by way of sexdeathrebirth.com

*Special thanks to my partner for collab’ing with me on this mission.

Whenever I’m having sex (either with my partner or with myself), I sometimes find myself going from zero to fully turned on in minutes.

When I’m fully aroused, I’m heavily focused on getting to Destination Orgasm as quickly as possible. I let out short, quick sighs of pleasure. I gobble up air & hold it in my lungs as I sit & feel delicious enjoyment coursing through my body. Minutes later, I’m coming—my chest heaving, my eyes rolling in the back of my head, my sighs long & high.

And just like that, it’s done.

A quick spark, a powerful explosion, & then a harsh return back to waking life.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that kind of orgasm; each time I have one, it’s all good & amazing. But I’ve been noticing lately that the effects of my orgasm are often fleeting—short, sweet, & genitally focused.

I’ve heard about full-body orgasms, ones that seem to shake the ground beneath you & fill you with white-hot heat, & I’ve even experienced a few of these cosmic climaxes of my own. But they are often rare & unintentional.

Sometimes I’d get curious about how to cultivate more power & control in my orgasms, & while I’ve not fully studied (or practiced) tantric sex, I’m definitely familiar with using the breath as a vehicle for circulating erotic energy in the body. I just haven’t made space for it in my own sexual practice.

I’ve always brushed those kinds of things off because it seemed that if I were to be mindful of my breath during sex, it would scare away my orgasm—which feeds into a perhaps false notion that my orgasm needs to be carefully focused on & tended to (& sometimes it’s like that).

But because I’m curious by nature, & because I’m always looking to have better sex, the last time me & my man got together I partook in a little experiment.

When I was aroused & ready to go, instead of going about it like I usually do—focusing heavily on climaxing & giving way to irregular & stalled breathing—I tried something different:

I breathed deeply.

Whenever I felt like I was right on the cusp of coming, I took in a deep, mindful breath, & let it out slowly, intentionally. I did this again & again until I had a nice, steady rhythm going. Soon, I felt as though I were in a meditative state, that being conscious of my breath as well as the delicious pleasure being experienced in my body had put me in a trance.

Immediately I noticed that when I became mindful of my breathing, I steered myself gently away from climax but not in such a drastic way where I lost arousal. I could feel the pleasureful energy coursing through my body with every inhale, & with every exhale I spread that energy even more—away from my clit (the prime target) & out toward my fingers, my toes, my heart space, & eyeballs.

It felt a lot like the breathing I do in yoga, & I was building up the intensity of pleasure more & more with every cycle of breath.

And when I finally allowed myself to spill over, after about five minutes of deep, conscious breathing, I came from every cell in my body, from the tips of my feet to the top of my crown chakra. I saw stars. I heard God laughing. I felt deeply connected to my body & the love I have for my lover. My entire body shook with ecstasy.

It was incredibly powerful.

And it lasted for over a minute.

I’m convinced that this is the way orgasm is meant to feel. Not surface-level, quick, genital-oriented explosions, but regenerative flowing waves of full-body pleasure.

And it’s as easy as breathing.