Healing for a Healer: How I Take Care of Myself as a Businesswoman

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bright pink // jenny liz rome

Last Spring, I was feeling an undeniable nudge to take what I did to the next level—to work with women in a deeper capacity by way of private, one-on-one work for months at a time. But the one thing that was keeping me from stepping into this new purpose was the one word that I felt would need to encapsulate my work: coach.

I took this conundrum up with my therapist, a spritely, otherworldly wise woman who I kind of want to be when I grow up.

“Why do you resist calling yourself a coach?” she asked, curious.

“Probably because the word is just awful,” I blurted out. “When I hear ‘coach’ I think of little league & some really masculine machinery. It’s just not a representation of what I really do.”

“Yeah, coach is a fucking terrible word,” she agreed, crinkling her nose. Then, she softened. “Tell me. . . what is it that you really do?”

Me, thinking. “Well. . .” I said finally, “I write about sex & sexuality, & I use my own experiences & stories to help heal women’s perceptions of themselves. But it’s spiritual & intimate & meaningful to me, not information-based or goal-oriented.”

“Oooohhhh,” my therapist cooed. “I like that you said heal.” Then, she paused to collect her thoughts & her face turned inquisitive as she asked, “I’m wondering how you think a healer  would conduct business. . .”

Me, not really following. “Well, they would go easy on themselves. They would only work with people they truly resonated with. They would allow themselves breathing room & grace periods. And they would do whatever they needed to do in order to take care of themselves.”

“And why would they do such a thing?” Her face brightened, anticipating my answer.

“Well, because if they don’t, they can’t serve to the best of their abilities. They would be healing half-assed.”

Ding. A lightbulb went off in my head. My therapist saw the illumination over my head & stated as she shrugged, “Maybe you’re a healer, then.”

A world of clarity opened up before me. A healer! The idea of this was revolutionary. What if I really was a healer? How would that change the way I worked? How would that change the way I didn’t work?

So I took it on (internally, ’cause I’m still working through the official title of what I “do” & can’t, for the life of me, relent to calling myself a sexual healer because it sounds escort-ish).

Seeing what I do as more than just simple coaching & writing, & honoring myself as a Healer has catapulted me into a different state of working. It means that I follow my intuition more & the “entrepreneur blueprint” less. It means that I am more likely to go easy on myself than force myself (a circle) into a square peg. It means that I stay deeply connected to the truth of who I am instead of being someone I’m not.

And I have tried my to be someone I’m not in my work. I’ve tried waking up at 8 o’clock in the morning to write three pages of unfiltered content; I’ve tried starting my day off with a donut & a cup of caffeinated coffee to jump start my motivation & inspiration; I’ve tried to keep my “office hours” at 9am-5pm, & clock out in just enough time to make dinner & begin to unwind.

I’ve tried my damnedest, & these things—rules, habits, lifestyle choices—don’t gel well with me & the way I do my sacred work.

I need space. And ease. And grace periods. And rest. And play. And time to heal.

How I take care of myself as a healer:

I take the week of my Moon Cycle off. This is a new change, one that I’ve only just implemented (this week, actually), & it’s proving to be one of the most transformational facets of my work life.

When I bleed, my life & creative energy is at its lowest. I am lethargic, introverted, & introspective. I’ve always forced myself to work through this highly sensitive time for me as though these feelings & tendencies didn’t exist. And for many of my jobs, I had no other choice but to power through the mittelschmerz & brain fog.

But when starting this new work, I came to a powerful realization:

I can choose. I can choose my work hours. I can choose how full (or desolate) my schedule is. I can choose to honor my natural cycles.

So, the week before my impending cycle, I tell my clients that Moon Week is approaching & that this will be their time to uncover solo. I feed them prompts & potent questions they can journal or meditate on in their own time, & they are free to dive in & explore whatever comes up. And while I’m still around for check-ins & email support (if needed), I’m generally out of the office.

During Moon Week, I sleep, I indulge in my cravings, I allow myself to feel deeply & ride the waves of my emotions, I take hot showers, I masturbate, I shimmy. Sometimes I do a little work, but mostly I retreat into a love cave & do whatever needs to be done to recharge, replenish, & rejuvenate. And my work is already better for it.

I honor my natural rhythms. Unabashedly, I am a late riser & a night owl. I do not like to be out of bed before 10am & I need at least nine hours of uninterrupted beauty sleep or else I’ll spend the day feeling like an apparition. I cannot work in static hours (a typical 9am-5pm). Rather, I do as much work as I can give space to when the inspiration strikes, then I call it a day when I feel depleted.

I do not like rushing. I do not like pushing. I like to make sweet, soft, sensual love to my work. I like to court my Genius & give ample foreplay to my Muses. I like to flow with & surrender to whatever it is I’m feeling & let my heart lead the way home.

I take time to connect with my community. Every day, I am in communication with at least one beloved girlfriend & have at least one girl-date on my calendar. Sometimes it’s for tea or for brunch; other times it’s for text marathons & Skype calls.

Sisterhood & the feeling of being deeply supported is the driving force of my work.

And it helps when all of my friends are, in some capacity, intuitives, empaths, witches, coaches, artists, writers, dancers, alchemists, psychics, & healers of their own.

Other ways I luxuriate in self-care during my work week:

  • waking up slow
  • long, hot baths
  • classic black & white films
  • walking my dog, Sofie
  • bellydancing
  • playing video games with my man
  • morning sex
  • mid-afternoon massages
  • tarot card readings
  • collage work
  • chopping vegetables
  • working in bed

If an early-rising, by-the-book businessman looked at the way I did business, he would think me a lazy, work-shy hedonist. And I am. 

Two of my core desired feelings in everything I do are ease & connection—ease in my work, connection to my self. Always. Even if it means disrupting the immovable masculine push ‘n drive, get-shit-done, crush-it-til-you-kill-yourself status quo.

It just works for me.

The Emergence of the Divine Feminine & 11 Ways to Embody it in This Moment

All around me, I am seeing women who are making empowering choices, women who are coming into deep love of self & radical acceptance of their bodies, women who are changing the way they work in the world, women who are taking charge of their reproductive rights, women who are speaking the truth of who they are & how they feel, women who are tuning in to their desires.

It seems that everywhere I look, I’m hearing (& reading) words like Divine Feminine, Sacred Feminism, Wild Woman, Shakti, Priestess, Feminism, Goddess, Sisterhood, & I know why: these words represent a vast collective shift happening within & around all of us—& not just amongst women.

Divine Femininity—or Shakti, or Wild Woman—has been a major focal point in my life lately. It’s being used in my practice as a sexual liberation coach, it’s being explored in my women’s groups, & it’s asking of me to honor my natural rhythms.

But it’s really, really easy for me to say Divine Feminine. What does it mean? I can only express its meaning by articulating where & when I feel the Feminine, & what that experience feels like.

I experience the Divine Feminine when I am listening to & following my intuition, when I’m making love to my beloved, when I’m in a deep state of creative expression.

I am in communion with Shakti when I dream, when I tend to my home space, when I move my body to dance, & when I twist my hair. I feel most like a Wild Woman when I am connected to my moon cycle, when I aware of the beauty of my surroundings, & when I contemplate the Life, Death, Rebirth nature of all. I encounter Sisterhood when I’m on the phone with my clients, when I am brunching with my girlfriends, & when I’m in circling with Mothers & Crones.

All of this is happening in my life, every moment, every day. Shakti, the Divine Feminine, Wild Woman—she is always here.

A feminine uprising is happening, & you are part of it.

How you can support (& immerse yourself in) this rising up of the Feminine

1. Acknowledge the woman (the Feminine) inside of you. Do whatever it takes to connect with her. What I do to bring Her out: bath soaks by candlelight with essential oils; bellydancing; slathering coconut oil all over my body, slowly & intentionally; Björk, Lana Del Rey, & Erika Badu; a red lipstick-ed mouth.

2. Feel good about the power in the Feminine. The Feminine is the force of nature, a potent energy to be reckoned with. She is not always sunshine & roses, but can be a destructive, turbulent force. There is no need to fear Her, or to fear the innate power you have within you. She is on your side. Destruction paves the way for creation.

3. Hold space for your sisters. They are walking this path with you; share this journey with them. Be proud of who they are becoming, divulge what you’re uncovering about yourself. Book clubs, women’s groups, & texting marathons nourish the Feminine essence.

4. Be in nature. Touch trees & leaves. Skip stones. Smell flowers. Lay down in the grass. Look up at the clouds. Turn your compost. Shakti lives there.

5. Give yourself room to play. Create; use your hands, your voice, your imagination. Keep ample space in your schedule. Sleep in when you can (& do so unapologetically). Explore only things that give you pleasure & bring you joy. The Wild Woman thrives on spaciousness & ease.

6. Find a spiritual practice that honors & celebrates the Feminine (& if you can’t find one, create your own). Here’s a glimpse of mine: collaging in my Goddess Space; writing in my manifestation journal as the Goddess Isis looks on; paying homage to Aphrodite by wearing rose quartz; reading more & more about Goddesses in general (lots of Goddess worship, as you can see).

7. Bring intimacy into your life. The Feminine is a master of intimacy, of deepening relationships. We can create intimacy with anything we wish: our pets, our plants, every single person we pass as we’re walking. All it takes is a smile, an intention to connect, & a heart open to love.

8. Follow your intuition. That voice you hear, the one you seldom heed because you think it’s crazy/invalid/ridiculous? That’s the Divine Feminine. She speaks constantly through you. Give her a listen.

9. Ask for what you want. Speak your truth. Hunt your desires. Settle for nothing less.

10. Pay attention to the moon cycles. Pay attention to your moon cycles. Simply look up. The moon is the Feminine.

11. Surrender. Allow. Open to what is.

To your Shakti (Sanskrit for power).
To your courage.
To your innate creative life force.

You are the Feminine incarnate.

Further reading on the Feminine, Wild Woman, feminism, & sisterhood. . .

Why We Decided to Close Our Relationship & Go Back to Monogamy

For nearly three years, my partner & I have been seeking to merge our strictly monogamous relationship with what we have found most intriguing: polyamory.

It all started with a confession on his part, where he very carefully confided in me that he felt that his capacity to love was deeper than just me. I remember listening to him speak & feeling like my heart was being pulled slowly out of my chest.

So many emotions washed over me in that moment—confusion, devastation, admiration (that he could speak so confidently his truth made my heart swell full with respect), deep violation. My entire world was collapsing before my eyes, & at the very height of my emotions, I contemplated divorce.

It took several days before my heart began to soften, which was prompted by the realization that his confession, though incredibly emotionally disruptive, was merely a confession, not a request to switch over to free love right that moment.

We had a series of conversations, most of them gut-wrenching & sob-inducing, & came to one final agreement: His fuller capacity to love was noble, but not mutual, & I simply wasn’t OK with his polyamorous tendencies being actualized.

He understood & agreed to essentially “shut off” his desires to open.

And so it was. The topic wasn’t discussed very often after that.

Several months later, I fell in deep love/lust with a female companion. It was completely unexpected. It shook me to my bones. I felt like a hypocrite, & that, once more, my entire world was falling out of orbit. It was then Jonathan’s turn to be compassionate, & he gave much so much grace & patience as I worked to figure out what all of it meant.

Even though nothing ever physically manifested with my love interest & I, the overwhelming emotions I experienced during that time were enough to change my idea of polyamory. Suddenly, I understood what it meant to both love & lust after multiple people at the same time.

During this time, we sought through books, lectures, podcasts, & hypothetical conversations to make sense of the truth that was circling throughout our consciousness: That perhaps polyamory was more ingrained in us (in me!) than we thought. Our minds spun even more so after reading the book Sex at Dawn, which pretty much proved scientifically that monogamy amongst humans wasn’t the most natural. We couldn’t help but think that we somehow didn’t fit into exclusive partnering very well.

Thus began our experiment into opening up.

I went on a few dates with women. He declared his attraction toward close, unsuspecting friends. I put up a “Married & Available” profile on OK Cupid. We attended Poly Meetups, unabashedly flirted with a lot of good-looking people, & had many intense discussions together as we went through every sort of What If? scenario imaginable.

We played like this for about three years, experimenting with how far we could go, opening ourselves up to people & experiences, & in some cases practically holding up a neon-green signed that screamed, “We’re open!”

And it never got us anywhere.

I was having brunch with a friend a few months ago, & we got on the topic of relationships. I mentioned to her that my partner & I had been seeking to have a polyamorous relationship for a few years, & as I did, I was surprised at my indifference toward the admission.

Usually, this was a time for me to chat buoyantly about my lifestyle, partly with the hope of finding another comrade who upheld the same notions, & partly because I was curious to see if my confession would elicit an invitation for our friendship to possibly go further.

But strangely, everything about polyamory suddenly bored me. I had been feeling for several months a slight repulsion in continuing these flirtations, but it wasn’t until I was retelling my story about what brought my partner & I to explore non-monogamy that I realized how done I was with it.

“I think I’m over it,” I blurted out without thinking.

“Well, you know,” said my friend gently, “it’s OK if you are, honey. You tried it, you gave it a shot. There’s no shame in walking away from it for a time.”

I let her words linger in my mind for a few moments before finally uttering once more, “Yes, I think I’m done.”

We parted ways after brunch & I continued to repeat those words in my head as I walked home.

I’m done. I’m done. I’m done. But why?

I’m done because opening my relationship became too labored. What I was looking for was synchronicity & serendipity—an accidental kind of friends-turned-lovers partnership that would whisk me & my partner away & into a fiery love affair. But it was becoming too contrived, too well-thought out.

I’m done because I simply was not finding what I was looking for. No matter how much I tried, no matter how fervent my lust for expansion & experimentation, the people that came into my life continued to be imperfect matches, people who were not emotionally available (or sound) enough to give me what I deeply yearned for with this experience. I have grown tired of my heart being broken, & of having my hopes sliced by rejection.

I’m done because it’s all been very emotionally exhausting—the wondering, the seeking, the hypothesizing, the desiring; oh, the desiring has been the worst part of it all. Wanting so badly to experience something that you have no earthly idea what it will ultimately bring you, or if it’ll be at the demise of a relationship, or if this is the path meant to be taken, but the desire is still there, strong & unrelenting. Yes, that has been the hardest part for me.

Opening our marriage gave us a lot of things (like juicy conversations & a glimpse into what our partnership could be like with the addition of another), but the one thing it most certainly did not give us was what we were initially looking to experience: physical explorations (i.e., sex).

Not one kiss, not one grope, not one one-night-stand was had in all the three years we were playing. Only emotional affairs that kept our minds & our bodies wound tight with sexual tension & the gnawing What if? thoughts that made our imaginations run wild.

I’ve always seen our lack of polyamorous sexual activity as a negative thing, something that proved to us harshly that we weren’t meant for this lifestyle. These days, though, I am seeing this reality to be more of a blessing as I move into full attention on my partnership. Transitioning back into monogamy wouldn’t be as easy for me, I think, with vivid images constantly flashing through my mind of my lover in the arms of another.

What I realize now more than ever is how incredibly sacred my union is with my beloved.

Our deep, unchanging love, our amazing, spiritual, cosmic sex, our never erring devotion to each other. . . I do not want to share this gorgeousness with anyone. And because I know how powerful erotic energy is, I don’t want to give my body to anyone else.

Rather, I want to focus on other things, like the electric connection I have with Jonathan, & cultivating lasting platonic yet love-filled relationships with my friends (because it was getting so murky that every single person I knew became a “Potential Lover”).

All of this isn’t to say that we’ve given up on polyamory completely. Our curiosity was never quenched, & so, at least on my part, there will always be a sense of wondering. We might come back to it in the future, we might not. When I was speaking to Jonathan about moving back into monogamy again, he said to me, “I could die without having ever expressed polyamory & I’d be fine.”

As for me, I don’t know if I could be OK with dying without ever having actualized my fluid sexuality. But. . . I am learning to, at this point, be OK with & luxuriate in what I’ve already got.

A New Year of Living with Sex, Love, & Liberation + 26 Birthday Mantras

On Sunday, I turned 26.

Usually on my birthday, I wake up & the new age smacks me in the face abruptly & I’m left reeling for the next few weeks at the new-realized truth that I am another year older.

But this time around, my new age was permeating through my body & spirit long before September arrived. I’d say around July is when I began to feel a tiny shift in my essence. It was very gradual & slow, yet undeniable & nearly palpable.

At my very first thoughts about it, the number 26 left me feeling discontented. I didn’t like it. I’m partial to odd numbers; there’s just something about not being neatly divided that lights me up. So I began to feel this sense of contempt welling up inside of me for 26, an age that had not yet arrived but was warming up inside of my being.

But now. . . as I sit fully grounded in my new number, 26 (& 8, because 2+6=8), I feel at home, like this is precisely where I’m supposed to be. Twenty-six fits me perfectly.

26 mantras I’m whispering during my 26th year:

    1. I am safe.
    2. My desire is a gift.
    3. I am abundance & lightness.
    4. Breathe in light, exhale radiance; smile.
    5. Surrender to what is. twit-bird
    6. Open to love.
    7. Trust your self, your instincts, your wisdom, your heart.
    8. Continue walking the path of self-actualization.
    9. Be compassionate.
    10. Feed your warm light to others with your intention & presence.
    11. Embody Shakti.
    12. Speak your truth regardless of what anyone else thinks or says or feels.
    13. Heed your innate wisdom.
    14. I am deeply loved & wanted.
    15. Boundaries are important. Put them up where it feels like too much is coming in (or out).
    16. Follow your curiosities.
    17. My intuition is a compass. Trust it.
    18. Allow yourself to be amazed by life.
    19. I am a daughter of the stars, the wisdom of the cosmos, & the cycles of the Moon.
    20. I am connection & communion.
    21. It’s OK to feel. (And to feel deeply.) twit-bird
    22. And it’s OK to retreat.
    23. There are lessons in everything. Tune in.
    24. I am soulful & spiritual.
    25. I am a healer & a visionary.
    26. I am seen & heard.

For the last several days, I’ve been in the spirit of celebration around my new turning of age, giving myself 12 intention-filled days to ring in my new year. So even though my birthday happened days ago, today, in the bright light of this day, I am illuminated by the magic of my birthday still.

And I want to share some of that magic with you. Here’s one thing that has been birthed from 26:

My book got a shiny new update!

In 2011, I wrote a short book that accompanied my new work. I called it Sex, Love, Liberation: A Manifesto for the Bold at Heart, & put inside of it everything that I believed in & everything I wished the world could know about sex/sexuality, deep love, & self-actualization at the time. I wrote the book without much thought, just with the urge to create it.

As I’ve grown, my work has too, & for the last several months I’ve been thinking about scrapping my book because it didn’t seem to fit me anymore. I hadn’t cracked open the book in a long time, but could vaguely remember what it entailed: childish, overreaching prose, a design that no longer matched—seemingly all of my incompetence on display in ebook form.

But an interesting happened when I finally decided to survey the “damage:”

I found my old words to be rich with life, potent with truth, & really, really fucking good (if I may say so myself).

And just like that, scrapping the book became a thought of the past, & I (& my designer) began to work tirelessly creating & designing the new edition.

And it’s here. 

SLL-Book-CoverWHAT’S NEW IN THE SECOND EDITION
// a beautiful new cover & layout that feels (& reads) spacious, clean, & easy-breezy; like a breath of fresh air (ahhhh!).

// 34 added pages of content freshly adapted from my life’s work (& they all beautifully accompany the book).

// a brand spankin’ new “note from the author”—from me, of course, & written with love.

// It’s Kindle optimized! CLICK HERE to buy via Amazon. (Note: The Kindle version does not include the workbook or the 30 Days of Sensuality prompts.)

And in keeping with the spirit of all this birthday magic, I want to do something sweet for you (’cause I love you):

If you’ve EVER purchased my ebook, send me an email [evyan@sexloveliberation.com] with your receipt & I will send you the pretty new edition + the workbook. . . free!

Doesn’t matter if you bought it when it first came out (almost three years ago!) or yesterday; I want to gift you with a fresh digital copy. (This offer does cannot apply to the Kindle version, unfortunately.)

This special book swapping will end on Thursday, September 26th @ 11:59am Pacific, on the very last day of my intention-filled birthday celebration, so make sure to send me your email & receipt before then.

You can learn more about my  book, A Manifesto for the Bold at Heart, by clicking HERE. (Or, buy it on Kindle HERE.)

 

With deepest gratitude & bright birthday sparklers,

Ev'Yan-signature

A Portrait of an Orgasm

DLP said recently that we need to talk about orgasm more. Here, I will tell you about mine.

My orgasm is the fuel in my tank, the mediator between me & my lover’s quarrels, the inspiration for all of the work that I do, & the shuttle I take when I’m desiring to come home to myself.

She is shy & elusive, bold & fierce. She will not allow me to have much time away from her. And when I finally do beckon her call, Orgasm courses through my body with such strong, jolting waves as if to frankly remind me of my potential for pleasure.

My orgasm knows when I am not relaxing into the moment or the natural rhythms of my arousal. When I or my partner begin to try too hard to chase her, she vanishes from my field of vision, from the grasp of my body.

My orgasm does not like to be chased, & she cannot blossom under the pressure of being conquered. The moment I or my partner begin to see her as a conquest, as something that must happen, she disappears.

My orgasm has sometimes been the bane of my existence, & the simple lack of her has the ability to shift my moods, my perspectives of life & of my sexuality. Not having an orgasm can occasionally spur in me false ideas about my relationship, about men, about the fallibility of my body.

And yet, there are times when my orgasm does not come, where she chooses, it seems, to not show up in order to teach me a lesson of patience, of ease, of the importance of sex without her, of how, without her, I am still a sexual woman. In these moments, though flustered with sexual frustration, I am grateful for the deep wisdom she offers me.

My orgasm sends me home to the Divine. Through my orgasm, I have seen & felt God. Through my orgasm, I have experienced & witnessed the Goddess within myself.

The spirit of my orgasm does not leave me when the climax is through, but continues to buzz through my body & infiltrate every little thing that I do: pushing a shopping cart, walking my dog, talking to my mother, writing this very post.

I am never separated from my orgasm, though I admit that I sometimes fail to acknowledge her existence & incredible power in my life. I also tend to ignore the tuggings of my yoni to bring her into my present life. I am getting better at this.

My orgasm feels like weightlessness, like suspension of time & space, like enlightenment—all within a matter of minutes.

My orgasm helps remind me of my potency, of my propensity to desire, of my potential to reach & generate robust pleasure.

My orgasm asks of me to surrender, to trust my self & my body, to give all of myself to the present moment to feel intensely.