Foreplay and connection starts in the kitchen

Foreplay and connection starts in the kitchen

If I had a dollar for every time a woman came (pun not intended) into my clinic and claimed she had lost her libido – I’d be one rich chick!

The busy working parent, is often the most harried and stressed of my clients. Unless the parent is single, I find in my clinical experience, the working mother can be susceptible to feeling obligated to do it all and ending up only feeling EXHAUSTED! These working mothers, the jugglers, are the amazing ones who make it all happen. Pull rabbits out of the bag, make miracles happen. They are everyone’s ‘girl Friday’, the solver of problems, negotiator, washer, head chef – you name it Mum can fix it. Or can she?

The working mothers, are often also quite stressed, fatigued, irritable and have no desire for sex – and yet miss the pleasure of intimate connection with their partner desperately!

Some even feel guilty that they now consider the act of sex just another job they have to do.

This busy state of being, however, always comes at a price – energy levels and connection with spouse, irritability with everyone and everything. Reduced tolerance levels for every day life. The phrase I often hear growled is “I’m a cranky bitch”!

Isn’t it funny how exhausted you are with a newborn? It’s a complete lifestyle change to what you are used to experiencing. And yet, we seem to return to work and still get stuff done. But the carefree, hand bag wielding days or waltzing out the door have changed. There’s an entourage now, of small people who seem to need a myriad of stuff with them everywhere you go.

And as the kids grow, there’s activities, and school and sport and play dates. There’s a never-ending pile of laundry to be washed, hung out, folded and put away – repeat by what feels like a million. There’s meal planning, snack making, food preparation. The list is literally endless!!!!

I’m getting tired just writing about it all! And the result is what? Adrenal Fatigue. Click HERE to read of my ‘What is adrenal fatigue’ blog to address the fatigue?

So adrenal fatigue aside, let’s focus on that neglected relationship with your partner? Here’s a couple of questions I find myself asking clients on a regular basis.

  • When you were in cranky bitch mode how excited for sex were you? Or was it just another chore for your list?
  • Did you feel pressured or overwhelmed by your partner to have sex and was it enjoyable?
  • Was it easy to intimately connect with your lover or did you have to work at it?
  • Were you able to easily become emotionally responsive to touch or was your busy head getting in the way?
  • Was your body able to physically respond to intimacy, such as lubricated vagina – or were you dry and non-pliable?
  • Were you able to achieve climax during penetration?
  • Do you simply feign a headache because it’s all just too much?

These aren’t exactly discussion topics that a girl has with her friends are they? These are confronting questions for most of my female ‘working mother’ clients who complain their libido has been hijacked.

In clinic we talk about potential endocrine disruption from over activated adrenals and the impacts to the sensitive vaginal and clitoral tissues. We often laugh about how we’ve ignored our #wombwisdom and the need for self-nurture. And then we talk about the perspective of our male partners, and how their need to feel loved, which is literally to be welcomed inside your body and become connected with you – in the most intimate way.

The harried working mother, is generally at this point in tears during a session. Why? Because it’s at this moment she has the ‘aha’ experience and reconnects with the love for her partner. In clinic we utilise coaching strategies to reformulate reconnection with our lovers.

More often than not the busy working mother wants foreplay outside of the bedroom. She wants to feel valued in her partner’s life, and not just because she is a vagina on legs. She wants to be appreciated. It’s not about the recognition so much as it is the partnership.

A hot tip for all the blokes out there would be this. Ask your missus “what do you need?” Consider when was the last time you did something spontaneous like hug. Did you know when you hug someone for 20 seconds, your bodies make oxytocin? What’s oxytocin – it’s a love hormone! But is also is a hormone which helps us relax, feel safe and calms our fears and anxiety.

A famous quote by psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Whether those exact numbers have been scientifically proven remains to be seen, but there is a great deal of scientific evidence related to the importance of hugs and physical contact.

So ladies, here’s my suggested tips to chase your libido back into your body. And you’d better sit down first because some of these aren’t what you are expecting.

Meet your needs first.

Now before you get on your high horse and tell me that this is impossible given your time table and all the ‘stuff’ that has to get done, let me ask you to consider the following questions.

What do you want to be teaching your children?

Oh that’s a button pusher isn’t it?

Do you want your children to learn that the mother does it all, or relationships are a combination of ‘give and take’, open communication and negotiation to get all the stuff done?

Got your attention now don’t I?

Do you want your children to see you delegate and seek assistance so you can all enjoy family time? Or are you still busy doing the stuff like dishes, making lunches, ironing sheets, whatever?

Learn to say ‘no’ or ‘can I get back to you’ – before saying yes to yet another thing on your busy schedule. Pace yourself ladies. The worst thing you can do for yourself is continuing to accept more jobs, just because you are competent at doing them.

One of the best things you can do is relinquish the need to do absolutely everything. Let’s reframe this another way.

By saying ‘no’ you are allowing someone else the opportunity to say yes, or have a go, or learn new skills, or become part of your dynamic team.

Recognise what you can let go of or negotiate someone else to do for you.

As soon as I got a cleaner, I breathed a sigh of relief. Frankly cleaning is not one of my super powers and my husband does a better job of it anyway. If I take my glasses off I can’t see the dust bunnies – so it’s all good. Right?

Paying someone to come and do a job for you is buying yourself time to be with your family. Think of this as an investment to your health!

You’re also contributing to another family’s income. It’s win win. It’s also something you don’t have to do.

Teach your children independence and responsibility by seeking their support for hanging out and folding washing. I once read that a child who makes their own lunch for school is more likely to become a self-motivated job seeker as a teenager, and unlikely to seek unemployment pension as an adult. They want to work, because the habit has been ingrained – you work for your reward. Therefore, dream big, work hard, receive abundance.

Connect with your partner in new ways, and on a regular basis. Consider stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new ways of connecting with your partner outside of the bedroom.

Why outside of the bedroom? Because foreplay and intimacy shouldn’t be limited to one place in the house. It should be everywhere in your relationship.

If you’ve been stalemated for a while, communication lines may not be clear or even open. Have you tried asking your partner for assistance, and in a loving way?

“It would really help me today if you could do x please” is often a good start to opening up the conduit for reconnection.

“Would you like to share a bath with me tonight?” This provides connection without immediate gratification or inference that sex has to be involved. You can talk and touch in the bath – it’s a brilliant place to debrief without the kids listening.

When was the last time you took a walk together? Did you hold hands? Touch is an incredible way to connect non verbally and our hands are incredibly receptive to both physical, mental and emotional messages.

Wishing you well in reconnecting with both yourself, your needs and your partner. You can choose to change and bloom from within!

What is adrenal fatigue?

What is adrenal fatigue?

You’ve fatigued your body by over stimulating your sympathetic nervous system – fight or flight response. You’ve fatigued your adrenal glands.

Our adrenal glands sit on-top of your kidneys and are responsible for the regulation of your metabolism, blood pressure and other homeostatic functions.

Here’s a little fact about triggering the sympathetic nervous system. It’s a normal function we have from the cave man days, designed to prime our bodies to run from a sabre tooth tiger. When the sympathetics are triggered, our digestion is paused as are our hormonal systems. Why? Because we won’t be making babies or eating a meal if the tiger is right in front of us. We’ll be defending ourselves, running like crazy or become halted like a meerkat.

But in today’s modern age, we activate this ‘defence system’ ALL THE TIME!

How I hear you ask? Well inflammatory foods like sugar and additives will trigger the sympathetics. Blue light from electrical devices also triggers the defence system. This is often why some of us have trouble sleeping at night, after exposure to blue light from the tv, phone or tablet before bed.

The mixed messages within society that woman are capable of having and doing it all is a fallacy.  Whilst you might have it all, are you enjoying it? Or are you too tired, can’t be bothered, unmotivated?

Here’s some signs your adrenals (and you are fatigued):

  • Sleep all night, but wake tired or wake during the night and therefore you’re left feeling fatigued
  • Unmotivated to do anything new
  • Want to stick to routine (ie might need to feel like you’re in control)
  • Sometimes feel like life is completely out of control
  • Get heightened when a small thing falls out of your control
  • Have odd digestive issues whereby a food trigger isn’t obvious
    • Abdominal pain
    • nausea
    • diarrhea
  • Fatigue in the afternoon, like we’re talking crashing your car into a pole!
  • Salt cravings
  • Low blood sugars
  • Anxiety
  • Weight which won’t shift
  • Irritability
  • Blood pressure challenges
  • Brain fog
  • Darkened pigmentation around eyes
  • Hair loss (I almost hear the ladies gasp)
  • Constant stress
  • Joint pain

It’s quite the list isn’t it!

Therefore, consider the following small actions to start remedying the tired adrenals, and reverse the fatigue – for good. Note adrenal fatigue is not a quick fix and can take months to reverse. But putting yourself first and nurturing your beautiful body goes a long way towards feeling better within yourself.

So, what can you do?

  1. Reduce daily caffeine intake,
    1. try to limit to morning only if you must, and
    2. decaffeinated in the afternoon.
  2. Reduce meal sizes, so eat a little, but often
  3. Eat more protein
  4. Avoid the sweeties fix
  5. Drink more water and have a little Himalayan salt (like the tip of your finger not the whole salt shaker) to it or your food
  6. Gentle exercise only, no punishing yourself at the gym!
  7. No blue light stimulation after 7pm (go searching for your ‘twilight’ or ‘red light’ app on your electronic devices)

Reversal of adrenal fatigue is time consuming. So, adjust your expectation that a week of sleeping well will resolve this issue. Remember you’ve neglected your normal rhythms for years – it might take a while to return to your normal groovy pace.

You can choose to change and bloom from within xxx

Misunderstanding draws you off your path

Misunderstanding draws you off your path

Have you ever had one of those experiences with someone close, where you have misunderstood that person’s intended message? Because we can’t get into someone else’s head and thought processes, we can therefore sometimes miss the ‘intention’ of the message. Our reaction to this misunderstanding leads us directly off our path forward, and sometimes we learn the very best of lessons along the way.

Miscommunication very often starts with a misalignment of the meaning of the message between two parties. Sometimes, our communication is straight forward and its meaning is easily recognised. For example “pass me the cookie”. On the other hand, some people express with hidden agendas and meanings, therefore the listener has to interpret between the lines.

Communication contains a variety of verbal and non-verbal inflections. Understanding what someone is communicating to you is also dependent on the baggage you carry around. You know, all that unfinished business. Your stuff.

We all have stuff, and it gets in the way of how we interpret messages. Why? Because our stuff provides us with a reactionary bias to situations.

In other words, our stuff, provides us with buttons to be pushed. Awesome right?!! Wrong!

What happens when our buttons are pushed?

We more often than not, react. And if it’s old stuff, or stuff that we can’t face, then we over-react. Some of us do that in spectacular fashion. Our heads get busy with a myriad of multiple interpretations of what has been said, in an effort to gain an understanding of what the heck was just said and “what did it all mean?”.

Our listening skills are vital to improve our ability to focus on what is really being said. Active listening, whereby we repeat what has been said to ensure we’ve correctly understood the intended message often supports clarification.

Using Kinesiology from a clinical perspective, I’m often reminding clients that our brains delete, misconstrue, and misinterpret according to filters (you know our stuff) – biases, triggers, assumptions, beliefs, and mental / emotional habits. It takes motivation and commitment, to face your stuff, learn your lessons and move forward on your journey path.

Reflection is a brilliant tool, where you get to jump out of that busy head of yours and attempt to gain understanding of what is going on with the other party. Sometimes this is a quick way to break down what might be going on for the other party, and gain an understanding of the other person’s stuff. This awareness and new found knowledge provide you with the opportunity to break down some barriers, and ignore the inner criticism which drives the fear of sorting out your old stuff.

Detach from taking everything personally. Often, the trigger words that have pushed your buttons is not about you, but it is your stuff which needs to be resolved. I suggest go within and explore, and one of the best places is in your journal. Writing out the stuff, lessens the overwhelming busy thoughts that can consume our perspective of the outside world.

Getting a hold on being able to respond versus reaction is the key. Your stuff can damage relationships if you can’t get a handle on your emotional intelligence – uncontrollable strong emotions, lack of self-control, or fear of letting go. Journaling is an exceptional tool to let go of garbage thoughts inside your head. Counselling or wellness coaching is also useful to explore why you react and the old stuff you are reacting to. You don’t have to journey alone. Be careful about constantly debriefing with a friend, because if you get stuck, you can wear the friendship thin.

Give people time to defuse from their triggered reaction. There are times when empty space does not need to be filled. Allow the other party to process rather than filling the dark void. The dark place is often where the negative outlook resides, so be sure to shine your light brightly.

Where possible utilise the feedback sandwich. At various points in our life, we need to provide others with negative feedback. Avoidance of these types of conversations just intensifies the negative trigger.

Take time out to cool your jets. Sometimes gifting yourself a deep breath and some time to sit with your thoughts and feelings, gifts you space to process the old stuff and let it go once and for all.

 

Remember you can choose to change and bloom from within as you embrace your stuff and move forward along your journey path.

You are not the Black Sheep

You are not the Black Sheep

Not all relationships smell like roses. In fact, some of them smell like compost! We all have stuff to deal with, but we don’t need to play shit sandwich tennis! Not all people over the age of 21 are actually capable of appropriately adulting.

Some people are stuck playing the ‘blame game’, others avoid confrontation and gossip behind your back. Some people aren’t responsible or accountable for their behaviour and will never be able to self-reflect or change.

But before you too, hop onto your soup box, and declare that someone has done something to you – remember this, you allowed it. That is sometimes a hard pill to swallow isn’t it? But it’s true.

Our thoughts because our actions. So, unless you, within yourself are authentic and own your processes and deal with your feelings, you too will allocate responsibility for someone doing something to you.

Now before you go off your head, no one chooses to have criminal offences committed against them – that’s not what I am saying. What I am talking about is your reaction to the thing which triggered you. Let’s focus on how our families and friends trigger stress in us.

Think of a time your buttons have been pushed. Think of that time where you lost sleep because of the stress. Think of how this ‘thing’ or ‘event’ consumed your waking thoughts.

Everyone on the planet has had an experience just like it. Right?

What lesson did you learn from the trigger experience? Or are you still hanging onto your pain? And if you’re still hanging onto your old stuff – what’s it costing you? Your happiness? Your available physical energy? Your positive mindset and outlook on life? How do you move forward if you’re still hanging onto the old paradigm? The herd mentality if you will?

How have you modified or adjusted your thoughts and actions? Do you observe and respond, in order to move forward in your life? How do you own your journey? What small actions are you prepared to implement in order to change your reaction?

Instead of investing in the drama of others, just stick with your stuff. People might treat you like you’re the black sheep, but you don’t have to stick with the flock and their negativity. You get to choose whether you perpetuate the ‘family pattern’, or whether you’re going to be the generation who instigates change.

Own your observations and reactions. When you react to external influences, you detach from your logic and run a defensive mental pattern which consumes a lot of your time and physical energy.

Recognise the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Stop comparing yourself to others. Whilst it is easier to compare yourself to others, you can never truly understand what another person is thinking or feeling. Why? Because you haven’t lived their exact experiences and you don’t have their exact behavioural patterns, so you can’t truly understand their response. The other thing to consider is that some people are so fear bound, that they aren’t capable of change.

We don’t have to like the people in our lives that choose to remain toxic, unfriendly, hurtful, spiteful, and stuck. But we can choose to love the connection. Why? Because on some level we understand the depth of the lessons gifted to generations of families.

We can choose to explore how certain traits shared with family members may affect us. We can gain understanding and use this knowledge to overcome challenges and gain maturity along our journey path.

Remember that as you gain an understanding of your pain, you gain awareness of how to overcome the lessons that life throws at you. It also provides you with an understanding of where those toxic trigger people in your life, may be stuck in their pain or worse stuck in fear.

You get to choose to not invest in other people’s stuff and their journey. Just focus on you!

So what if they call you a black sheep of the family? They have more fun! Simply love the lesson, not the bad behaviour.

You can choose to change and bloom from within xxx