Valentines Day

2014-02-08 01.37.38

If you’re reading this on the day it goes out, it’s the day before Valentine’s Day, but even if you read this a few days from now, the message is timeless.

This year I am without an “official” Valentine. That is, a honey, sweetheart, partner, lover, … so, what’s a gal to do??!? Oh, my darlings, it’s really not so bad. In fact, I’ve already started to celebrate. There is the most beautiful bouquet of pale pink roses on a table in my boudoir. I spent at least 10 minutes surveying the floral selections until I found the bunch that truly called to me. Then, I perused the chocolate selection in our well-stocked grocery store. Dark chocolate with coconut, something I’ve loved since childhood, coyly waved at me from the shelf and I lovingly put it in my shopping cart.

imagesBut, wait – all of this started the weekend before when I attended an extravaganza in NYC hosted by one of my brilliant mentors, Mama Gena (www.mamagenas.com). While there, I took special care to dress for the occasion: black lace, cashmere, and lots of pearls. I participated in this event because I knew I’d be surrounded by a bevy of Sister Goddesses and I was not disappointed. Dear friends from previous classes and many women new to the School of Womanly Arts held me throughout the two days. (Side note: if you’ve never taken a course with Mama Gena, head on over to her website and see what’s cooking.)

Back to my Valentine Indulgences … this past Friday I went to hear my sister’s boyfriend sing and play his guitar at a local club. When he asked me to get up and sing with him, I did and it was great fun. At the bar, I chose exactly the perfect red wine for the evening and the bartender ended up gifting it to me. I’m dating these days, playing the field, but mostly I’m practicing profound self-care … and this makes me a luscious Valentine on February 14 or any day. The best news of all – you can do it, too! Welcome to Sassy, Sensual Living.

Goal or Desire?

Do you have mostly goals or desires and what’s the difference? The way I see it, a goal is something that you’d like to cross off your “to do” list, maybe something you’ve been putting off. It could be cleaning out your closet, organizing your papers for your tax return, or, even just getting your laundry done. There is certainly a feeling of satisfaction once it’s accomplished. It could even be accompanied by a sense of relief. And, that’s as far is it goes. It’s more of a mental exercise and often is accompanied by a “should” … I should get to that, I should take care of that, I should …One of the problems with should is that they are usually driven by what we think others expect from us. We get caught up in worrying how someone else might judge us.

desireLet’s look at desires … these are longings. Perhaps you yearn to live in a warmer climate, or to visit a particular country, or to become a florist (while currently, you are unfulfilled as an office manager, or … fill in the blank). These come from the heart and soul and completely from within us. Desires fill us with a sense of hope and happiness when we daydream about them. They are not always understood by others and sometimes, if we express them to someone, their reaction might be, “Why would you want to do that?”, or, “That’s ridiculous. You could never …”

That does not mean there is anything wrong with your desire. It simply means that you shared it with someone who just didn’t get it.

A desire might turn into a goal — this is the best possible combination. This is a way to integrate your head, heart, and soul. If, for example, you find yourself truly struggling in your job and thinking more and more about what you’d really like to do, it might be time to make a plan. Find someone who can help you take what you long for and figure out how to make it happen.

*We need both desires and goals in our lives. One is not better or more noble than another. Sometimes our “to-do” list of goals helps us keep a clear space so that we have room for getting in touch with our desires. Having no goals leaves us wandering aimlessly through our days and having no desires keeps us uninspired. Here’s a little exercise for you:
*Write down 5 goals. Notice if they are things that will improve your life and if they come from within you and not just from what you perceive someone else or others might expect from you.
*Make a list of 5 desires. Notice if it’s harder or easier to come up with what you want or even crave. Let yourself really get into it – no judgement.
*Figure out the best way to complete your goals.
*Decide which desire(s) you want to pursue because you need to and take the first step.
*Ask for help if you feel stuck

Let me share a personal example of all this. Recently, I decided I had too many books. Since I am a bit of a gypsy, every time I move, the multiple, heavy book boxes really make moving more complicated and difficult. I also feel like I have clothes in my closet that are just taking up space. I don’t wear them, I keep thinking I “might” wear them, “someday” and, they also add to my moving burden. So, I had the goal of getting rid of some books and clothes and it felt good when I was able to donate them.

On the other hand, I have an appetite to travel as much as I can. I love seeing new places, finding out about the history of a location, and meeting interesting people. Last year I traveled quite a bit and this year it is my intention to do the same. I also desire to expand my transformational coaching business. One way to fulfill those desires is by creating a retreat in Tuscany in May. I contacted a wonderful company that knows the ins and outs of this endeavor and we’re on!

See if you can find the pleasure in this exercise. It can feel good to get things done as well as dream and fantasize. Pay attention to your goals and desires. They will give purpose to your life, especially if they come from deep within you.

Are You Running on Empty?

Don’t you hate it when you realize that your cell phone is running on a low battery? You hear that little beep-beep, warning you that you are in the “red zone”. You’re not sure when the power will be completely out and you say to the person you have called, “My battery is almost dead and I might lose you”. Your stress level mounts, however you start making a plan to solve the problem.

 

You go home and plug in your charger, or if you have a charger with you, find an outlet and plug it in. Or, you might look around for someone or someplace with a charger or charging station. Whatever it takes to juice your phone back up and be ready to rock and roll again, you’re on it.

 

What about when YOU are running on empty? You’re feeling tired and depleted. It feels like there’s a little beep-beep inside you telling you you’re running out of steam. You get a phone call and you wonder if you can even pick up the phone and give one more person your attention or will your battery run out. Do you have a plan? Do you know what to do or do you feel your stress level mount and feel helpless?

 

Good news – the solution is like the fix for your phone. You plug in! Here are a few suggestions for accessing your charger.

 

Go somewhere quiet – if you’re in your car, pull over on a side street or rest area. Somewhere you can safely park and sit for a moment. Or, if you are at work, close your door, go somewhere else inside or outside, whatever it takes to grab a little quiet. Once you’re there, just start watching your breathing. Simply observe the in and out of your breath and plug into your inner calming system. What’s amazing about this is that the solution to your being depleted is so simple even in the face of overwhelm!

 

Call a friend. Not your friend that always grumbles and whines and demands a lot of your attention, but the one that leaves you feeling better. The voice of reason in a crowd of complainers is your go-to girlfriend. Even better, if you can arrange it, call a group of ladies and create an impromptu coffee break, lunch date, or even “cosmos and compliments”.  I created this when I realized my gal pals and I sometimes needed to get together and lift each other up. We treat ourselves to a cosmopolitan or some other favorite beverage and we can only say nice things about each other. In fact, we go out of our way to highlight each other’s magnificence.

 

Find something to laugh about. I highly recommend investing in a few books by humorists that you find really funny. Or, for example, a compilation of New Yorker Magazine cartoons. Start a folder with funny quotes or observations that you can pull out and get a chuckle from when you need it.

 

There’s three ways to re-fill your tank, top off your mojo, and plug in and get more juicy and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Have fun finding other ways you can refresh and replenish.

Stop Worrying About Aging…

“Jewelry takes people’s minds off your wrinkles.”
-Sonja Henie

Do you have some exquisite pieces of body adornment and more importantly, do you wear them? Too often we have a beautiful necklace or pair of earrings that we are “saving for a special occasion”. I’m here to tell you that moment has arrived. Be-jewel yourself, stop worrying about your age spots, now is special.

Why Do You Believe What You Believe?

“I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.”

-Kathryn Stockett

Are you caught up in what the national news wants you to think and believe or have you formed your own thoughts and opinions? I once had a gym teacher advise me to not believe most of everything I heard and only half of what I read. It opened up my world to so many more possibilities and turned it into a much brighter, positive place.

What Lights Your Fuse?

“We anoint their fuses with a tiny amount of fire, and they come alive, playing out  their life span in a matter or seconds. In  those few seconds a crack in the universe is opened, giving us a glimpse of the energy locked within all matter.”

-Bob Weaver

What do you need to light your fuse? – Not in an angry, get mad kind of way, but what is locked up inside of you that you need to let loose and share, in all its magnificence, to the world? Let it shine,  let it shine, let it shine!

Are You Smiling?

“If she’s smiling, I know all is right in the world. Her face is the sun in my life.”
Bridget McManus/comedienne

Did you know you could have that effect on others? Ms. McManus made that comment
about someone specific in her life however, we all light up when we see a smiling face. It’s
hard not to and we are drawn to smiles like bears to honey. If we see a frown, we’re not
sure we want to know why and we often avoid someone who looks upset. No matter what’s
going on with us, it sometimes feels like we just can’t take in their misery or troubles. Even
though it might make us feel guilty, we’ll avoid interaction at all cost.

On the other hand, when we see a smile, we want to know more. We’re curious, interested, hopeful, full of anticipation. There’s no bad news lurking behind a smile.

So, when you feel good, share it!

How Old Are Your Friends?

“Every person is a new door to a different world.” -From the movie Six Degrees of Separation Our friends are one of the most cherished parts of our lives.

As The Beatles once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Most of us have at least one friend with whom we share all our ups and downs. It is wonderful to have friends in our lives – for most of us, it is essential. Let me ask you something, though … how old are they? Many of us have friends and acquaintances around the same age as we are. That’s a good thing – these people have much in common with us and share a similar outlook. But, what about younger or older friends? Getting to know others outside our age or generation often opens up a whole new realm of ideas and points of view. It broadens our horizons and gets us to possibly see or think differently about some things. Younger people contribute to keeping us young (and, they are invaluable for explaining all the new technology coming along!) and older people share their wisdom.

Keep an open mind about making new friends!

Let’s Talk Underwear

“Underwear is simply another accessory – both practical and decorative.”
-Barbara L Cummings

What’s in your underwear drawer? Are there panties in there that you would really be
embarrassed about if you were in an accident? Does the idea of a matching bra and
underpants set leave you puzzled? Are you saving the one lacey little piece of something for
some “special” moment with a particular person (perhaps yet to be named)??

I say getting up every morning counts as a “special” moment and YOU are a particularly fine
person!

Here is your assignment:

  • Go through your underwear drawer and get rid of anything that you wouldn’t
    want anyone else to see
  • Go shopping – it doesn’t have to be a high-end lingerie boutique (although it is
    fun to look around in there!). TJ Maxx has lovely undies at very reasonable
    prices.
  • Buy at least one item that you consider outrageous.
  • Every morning, for a week, put your new frillies, lacies, whatever lights you up,
    on under your clothes and go out into the world knowing that you are especially
    yummy and luscious underneath and no one else knows! (If you are married or
    in a relationship, dress for yourself in the morning. I’d share it in the evening
    with that special guy.)

Have fun and let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear from you!

Go Get Your Flirt On

“Flirting is the gentle art of making someone feel pleased with themselves.”
-Helen Rowland

Do you flirt?

I highly recommend it – as the quote says, it really makes people feel happy and good.

If you were to flirt, would you limit it just to men/the opposite sex/someone you might be
interested in?

You can flirt with anyone!

Try it on older men, younger men, babies, children, puppy dogs, the cashier at the grocery
store or dry cleaners, your mechanic, the waiter … the list is endless!

By flirting, you send the message, “Life is good, I feel good, and I want you to feel good, too!”
And, the best part is, even if you don’t feel quite as wonderful as you like to begin with, if
you start flirting, you will definitely feel better … and so will everyone that receives your
gift!

Go get your flirt on!

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