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career and relationship

January 21, 2015

Nothing in Life is “Wrong”

Right or Wrong ?


Nothing in life is wrong. It’s all just another challenge opening you to the infinite adventure.

 

Feel that. What would the experience of life be if you could accept that there is no wrong? What if everything was occurring with a meaning to take you back home to unity and harmony? What if no matter what your decision, it would be right for that time in your life and would open you to yet another great set of experiences?

 

Too often people stop, hesitate, stay stuck, because they are afraid of making the wrong decision or doing something wrong or not being successful. All of these fears come from the belief that there is wrong and not being good enough.

 

What if you moved beyond the duality of right and wrong and asked your Self “Why is this in my life?” What if you pondered that point in your path with curiosity rather than judgment and fear? Many would soon see the multitude of gifts that life offers. You must be willing to see beyond the duality of right and wrong to receive the greatest of life’s gifts. You are here to feel the definition of you separate from the whole or one. What separates you is fear. This existence is expressed through the duality so that you can choose to “find” your Self beyond that which you are not, fear. So, everything you experience is with great purpose! Nothing is wrong. It is all just experience in the soul’s journey of definition and unity.

 

November 13, 2014

Stress Management During the Holidays

Holiday Stress !


The most common questions I get asked during the holidays are “How do you stay so calm and relaxed? Don’t you feel the stress?” It is usually followed by the question, “How do I cope with the stress of the holidays?” There is no real secret. I live by knowing what I wish to experience in most of my life. It is in that knowing that I stay within my comfort and calm. Let me lead with an example: I do not enjoy shopping but I do enjoy buying gifts! So, I sit quietly with a glass of wine or hot tea and relax on my dock and create a list. It is never a complete exhaustive list but it is always inclusive of the key people in my life. Then I thoroughly enjoy thinking of a special gift. Once I have comfortable come to a completion of developing the list, I stop. I may stop before I have a gift listed for everyone and for me that is ok! I know for whom I am still thinking about gifts. I keep my eyes open throughout the days until something goes “Yea! That’s it!” I then add that idea to the list. I enjoy this process!! It’s fun for me!! I may also add people to my list as I go forward.

 

I remember when I was married. My husband was a Grinch when it came to shopping for the holidays until one day I said, “Follow me. We are going to go to Capital Grill in the mall and have a drink and strategize this event. It will be fun, I promise.” He agreed!! We sat and had some hors d’oeuvres at the bar and created a list of everyone for whom we had to buy. We then added the gift or store from which we wanted to purchase. We then ordered the shops by virtue of where they were in the mall. I made a reservation for dinner at Capital Grill for 1.5 hours later. The challenge was to get all the shopping done and get back to the restaurant before the reservation! He thought I was crazy until we had a ball together! We did the same routine every year and every year we enjoyed the experience together!

 

So, I was asked to speak to a business group regarding Stress and the Holidays so I handed out cards with 3 questions what are the top 3 stressors for you during the holidays, what are your coping mechanisms for stress, and what is your number one question regarding stress. The answers are the basis to this blog article. I hope this is helpful to you all!! Happy Holidays!

 

YOUR TOP STRESSORS

  • Gift Shopping
  • Matching gift to recipient
  • Budget for gifts and events; Not enough money
  • Traffic on Main Avenues
  • Lines
  • Crowds
  • Time restrictions
  • Juggling numerous activities simultaneously
  • Events and Conflicting events
  • Guests
  • Family
  • Travel
  • Immediate demands
  • Too much to do
  • Being around stressed people
  • Guilt around gifts and the need for reciprocity
  • End-of-year work
  •  

    As you read this list you can see there are numerous “things” that influence stress in peoples’ lives. As I mentioned in the talk, stress only occurs where there are expectations. So, let’s look at the stressors and see the patterns of expectations that weave through them.

     

    The shopping for and matching and buying of gifts are often stressors due to the buyer’s need to meet the expectations of the recipient so that they are pleased. You forget that YOU are the greatest gift! What kinds of gifts can you give that are simply of you. The need to spend on gifts suggests that the gift of YOU is not valued the same. The shopping and time can of course feel like a part of the too much to do! Again, you are feeling stress from the expectations of getting “it” all done. What would you like to do? Guilt that may be felt around having to buy gifts for those who bought you gifts is pure expectation and fear of judgment! It is okay to simply receive!!! In order for giving to be complete you simply have to receive. You obviously give of YOURSELF in some way to the person who bought you a gift. Allow your Self to be the gift they received! Thanks and gratitude are generally ALL the giver needs to feel complete. If a charity felt they had to give a gift to everyone who gifted them where would they be? It is not necessary to give a gift to everyone who gives a gift to you!

     

    The traffic, crowds, travel, and lines can all have a crossover with the juggling numerous activities at once and time restrictions. You are only restricted by time when you are doing more than you are wishing to do or are able to do. You are only doing too much because you think you “should” (expectations). What are you able to do and what would you wish to do to prepare for a holiday celebration? What kind of holiday celebration would you like to experience? Allow your Self to define the holidays as you would like to experience them. Given that experience and your preferences, accept your money and work schedule. Another aspect of these stressors is to find a way to enjoy the crowds and lines. Make it a personal challenge to spread smiles! Leave yourself enough time to accept the lines and crowds. Or shop in a way that does not require you to deal with traffic, crowds, and lines. Once you have put these small tasks into motion, see how you can begin to build a more relaxed enjoyable holiday experience. A final note about being around others: being around stressed people can increase your stress. Stress or anxiety is contagious. You can feel it from others. Again this is why it is critical to know the experience YOU wish to have. Others’ experiences, then, are less likely to be of influence.

     

    The events that occur during the holidays are intended to be for celebration and gratitude for the relationships shared. Yet, for many, the events become expectations and then when they are in conflict with other events or there are just too many, people can feel stress from not being able to go to all events “as expected”. This is counter to the intent of most events. There is always someone somewhere who is going to have to say no. Why can’t that be you? It is inside you that YOU come up with the reasons why you cannot say no. Yet, when you are struggling to NOT say no, ask yourself if you would say no in a situation where there was a necessity (illness, travel, etc.). If you would, then you can say no simply because it is necessary for YOU to say no! Learn to listen to your Self. Honor your Self first and then honor the invitations! Learn to stop responding to the expectations of others. If you are struggling with the abiity to say “No” then more than likely you are feeling the pressure of too much to do!

     

    Then there are the guests and family that we have to entertain or by whom be entertained! I think if you were to sit quietly in your thoughts, you would be able to define the expectations of these others and see how you are trying to meet the demands and expectations of the many instead of staying within your own experience and self. If you cannot get to every family member’s homes then you cannot. If they cannot all get to yours, then they cannot. And what about the way family sees family? The dynamics of family can be conflictual because of perceptions. Growing up together everyone has very different views of themselves and each other.

     

    HOW YOU COPE

  • Disconnecting
  • Reading
  • Relaxing
  • Massage
  • Vacation
  • Meditation
  • Breathing Deeply
  • Art
  • Napping, Sleeping
  • Reading religious text
  • Exercising
  • Walking; walks on beach
  • Movies
  • Time with friends
  • Smiling
  • Have fun
  • Yoga
  • Doing
  • Alcohol
  • Overeating
  •  

    All of the coping strategies up until number 18 are valid. If you are not using them, you may want to explore the use of several of them. Anyhting you may do in a ceremonial or ritualistic way can be healing and releasing of stress.

     

    I want to address the use of “doing” in reaction to stress separately. The act of “doing” so that you can avoid the stress, keeps the stress and it’s destructive impact alive in the background. Think about it, to avoid something you must know where it is in order to stay away from it. Consequently, if you are staying active in order to avoid stress you must know what and where the stress is to keep it at bay. If, however, you are “doing” in order to keep moving through a “to do” list, then you are coping!! Mostly because putting something off, or procrastinating, can increase the stress as you get anticipate it coming due. How are you using activity or “doing”? If it is in the former way, you may want to stop and relax, meditate, journal, or breathe!! If it is the former, good for you!!

     

    Let’s look at alcohol, drugs, and food. They are all stressors in our lives unless used in moderation and without connection to emotion. Once any of these are connected to our emotions, in particular, avoiding or masking them, they become significant stressors and can become habitual and, consequently, destructive. When I talk of drugs, I include prescriptions. During the holidays it becomes particularly easy to use substances to avoid the emotional and physical stress. Unfortunately, however, we are a people of dependent style. We tend to be externally focused. These characteristics lend to the use of substance to calm us, heal us, and take care of us. The truth is, it doesn’t work. Substance, whether, alcohol, drugs, or food, do not calm, heal, or take care of us at a time of stress, anxiety, or fear. When we use them to do so, we are further increasing the physical stressors and, at times, the chemical and emotional stressors which is further destroying ourselves. If you find yourself using any of the three during stressful times, do not judge yourself or label yourself. I would, however, recommend you speak to someone who can help you sort through the stress and the need for care. You need a person and your Self at those times not substance.

     

    YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT STRESS

    1. How to handle stress during visits
    2. What is an effective way to remove stress
    3. How to avoid it
    4. How to avoid getting sick from stress
     

    In order to cope with stress you must know your stressors and the expectations associated with them. Once you are aware of that you can begin the process of developing the experience you wish to have in various situations. Knowing the experience you wish to have in any situation in life allows you a great opening to see the expectations of others and how you were and are trying to meet them. Being able to live beyond expectations removes a HUGE percentage of stress. It allows you to begin to live in absence of stress. What I mean by that is we may have stress approach you but you are so aware of the experience you wish to have that you address and move beyond the stressor immediately. You are no longer avoiding or skirting the stressor but knowing what you wish to do allows you to eliminate it – gracefully.

     

    I am very often asked why we would want to live without stress. Some think it motivates them, some think it protects them, and some think it is serves them in other ways. The truth is that stress does not need to exist – at all. Our lives have become so “demanding” that we have introduced stress into it and have then glamourized it. We have huge profitability in “Stress Management” programs. So, it is imperative that we have stress so that we can be taught how to manage it! To some of my Executive officers with whom I work, they say “At work stress is good because it is fun and part of the relationships!” Ugh! There is, ultimately, no need for stress. At the beginning, we made need some stress to keep us alert to danger, but only at the beginning. Once we are living in absence of fear, we have no use for stress or stressors.

     

    Never do you want to avoid! Certainly you do not want to avoid stress because the very act of “trying” to avoid stress creates stress!! Aaah! Please do not try to avoid stress! Allow your Self to stay aware of what stresses you and then ask yourself what the expectations are that define it. Then you can ask how to move beyond those expectations if it isn’t already clear.

     

    The Germ Bullet

     

    We get sick from stress because it weakens the immune system. If you eliminate or mitigate stress, obviously you eliminate illness from it. From the beginning, with the indigenous people around the world, it was known that “stress” (imbalance) causes illness and injury. In order to truly eliminate illness due to stress, you must eliminate stress. If, however, you are feeling stressed and don’t want to get sick, I recommend you use a Germ Bullet to ward off most illnesses that are able to attack you during a weakened immune response to stress. For more information on the Germ Bullet, please go to nsaroma.com or call 561.393.0065.

     

    The bottom line is this: in order to live without the impact of stress you must eliminate it. There are many ways to “manage” the stress you have and that is wonderful as the first step. Once you are managing your stress, you need to eliminate it. Or, for some of you who are achievement oriented, you can go directly to eliminating your stress!

     

    I thank you all for the opportunity! May your days be free, fun, and without expectations!

     

    February 26, 2014

    A Parenting Romance

    How does a couple maintain their love and romance once children are in the mix? So often I watch couples, with whom I work, struggle with how to define their relationship and their conversations once they have children. We are a people who have difficulty maintaining loving relationships in general: approximately 80% of our dating relationships dissolve and of the 20% that become permanent, 60% dissolve!! Do our children further enhance the difficulties??

     

    Maybe! As parents, you are first and foremost partners to one another. The family structure was meant to be the parents as the pillar or backbone of the family. The problem is that we do not know how to develop our relationships. So, consequently, when the children come into the relationship, it is very easy to make them your focus! If the focus and the conversations are all about the children then, obviously, the relationship starts to fall apart or fragment.

     

    Our children learn about relationships or partnerships by observing their parents. So, if the parents are not focused on themselves as a partnership, I wonder what the children are learning??

     

    As parents, most couples struggle with the balance of maintaining their own relationship with the relationships they share with their children. Part of the imbalance comes from the “need” to entertain our children. Most comes from a breakdown in the communication: verbally, physically, and sexually. Parents who share in the observing and raising of their children feel the team work and camaraderie. Parents who divide and conquer are actually softly doing that to their relationship as well! Parents who maintain a traditional structure, have to adapt to a partnership that is not traditional! Although one parent may stay home, our culture today is not the same as it was many years ago. There are many influences on the individual at home working versus the one outside the home working and on maintaining household income levels.

     

    There is a need to learn to communicate in a way that grows the partnership and continues to open each partner to the other. Life is infinite. It feels finite by the barriers imposed by fears and the past. As partners you have to constantly stoke your trust so that it is continually evolving as you evolve. This helps the two people to consistently open themselves to one another. Each partner is looking for fulfillment and happiness in their life. Rarely does one partner intend to be hurtful, distant or destructive. It happens because of the history in each of your lives. So, as a couple, you need to heal that which interferes in your intimacy and openness so that you can remain as your Self to the other and, so that, you can explore the other constantly. Further, as a couple, it is important to be conscious of the compassion in your heart. If, as a couple, you can be in a state of compassion when you communicate, you will not take things as personally and always be looking out for the best for your partner and your Self. There are many tricks I can teach to maintaining the romance but that is for another article. In the meantime, remember:

     

    “The greatest gift you will ever give your children is your own healing.”

     

    Pick up the March issue of Our Town News magazine for more on this topic. I’m also proud to announce my cover story will appear in their Broward edition.

     

    January 8, 2014

    Creating Successful Resolutions: Could you be setting yourself up for failure?

    Approximately 50% of the people will attempt to state resolutions and of those, 88% will not achieve success with their desired goals.Those statistics are very well known. There are numerous articles on why resolutions don’t work. So, why an article on how they do work? Because there are behavioral measures we can take to be successful in the short term and then there are ways to incur permanence. This article will address SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTIONS.

     

    Most people set resolutions to reinvent their Self or to find greater “happiness” in their life. Yet, the top resolutions set are:

     
  • Weight Loss
  • Exercise
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Debt Resolution
  • Money Management
  •  

    This list suggests that most Americans believe that these external goals will bring an internal experience of general happiness in life. So the ultimate goal is their happiness. They “think” these goals will bring them that. Consequently, there is a “why?” that you need to ask. If there are aspects of your life that you wish to change, then what was causing them in the first place? Why are these challenges existing in your life? There is something that keeps them active. It is this question, unanswered, that sits under the goals you set and slowly eats away at your success IF you only implement behavioral change. So, let’s address the behavioral measures you can take, some thinking you can change, and then let’s look at some other things you can “do” to ensure greater long-term success.

     

    WHAT TO DO

     

    Quietly sit down and choose those resolutions that are important to you. Write down ALL of them. Then pick your top three. With each of those 3:

     
  • Define the goal with detail and specifics.
  • Break the goal into as many sub goals as is possible — teeny tiny ones — again, defining each sub goal with detail and specifics. Baby steps!!! The sub goals can then build upon one another to meet the main goal.
  • Look at the patterns, habits, rituals of your daily life and see where you can comfortably assimilate the sub goal.
  • Celebrate each success along the way. Know what it is you are going to do for the celebration. Don’t be shy. Include in your celebration a daily conscious compliment to your Self for completing the mini goal!
  • Be consistent and persistent! if you can work your tiny subgoals for a minimum of 14 to 21 days, it becomes a new habit. Then, as you add to it you are building upon your new lifestyle!!
  •  

    HOW TO THINK

     

    Positive thinking is the only way to achieve success because success is a positive. You cannot achieve a positive with a negative.

     
  • Each morning before you get out of bed, recite a gratitude about yesterday’s success and today’s opportunity to succeed.
  • Each morning before you get out of bed, review your goals for the day. Picture the activity as it fits into your routines. See your Self successfully achieving each of the sub goals and hear your positive thoughts.
  • Each night upon retiring, review your successes and be grateful for each of them.
  • Each night upon retiring, create any necessary solutions for those goals you do not feel were successfully achieved.
  •  

    Listen for thoughts or statements of hidden expectation:

     
  • “I should”
  • “I need to”
  • “I am suppose to”
  •  

    Each of those phrases is speaking to you about how you have expectations tied to your resolution. Expectations are not from you — EVER! They are always from what you have learned from others. Those phrases, when thought or spoken, are telling you that this is an area of internal conflict. In other words, what you have scheduled your Self to do does not match your internal comforts. The expectations undermine your success by pulling you toward feelings of not good enough. This is a time you are desiring a reinvention of your Self in some way. You do not need other people’s expectations pulling you away from your desires!

     

    Finally, listen within your Self for thoughts of hope. With hope there is doubt. “I hope I can … !” suggests you doubt you can. This is a very different hope than the spiritual hope. Listen to your thoughts for statements of hope and ask your Self what your doubts are! Once you identify the doubts you can heal them. Otherwise, they will undermine your success. Doubt is fear, fear undermines positive thinking!

     

    HOW TO DEVELOP THE EXPERIENCE

     

    It is the internal experience that the resolution gives you that is critical to your life. To develop that, you must know what it is you wish to experience. What are your desires that you believe your resolution will give you? What will it feel like within you once you achieve your resolution?

     

    Once you have identified the experience your goal offers you, there are several things you can do to enhance your success of meeting your goals.

     
  • Create a “sign” with the goal and the sub goal you are currently pursuing. Make sure it is aesthetically pleasing. Make several copies of this. Place each copy in a location that you will see daily and frequently. Each time you see the “sign”, allow your Self to feel the experience the goal will give you.
  • Mantra — Repeat a sentence that says “I am grateful to have …” at least 20 times each of 5 times per day. The statement must be in present tense as if it is happening. As you are repeating the statement, you want to be feeling the experience the completed goal gives you.
  • Vision board — collect pictures, words, etc. that define the goal(s) you are achieving for the year and put them onto a board that you will see repeatedly through out the day.
  • Live the feeling as if you have already achieved your goal. Do this consciously. You can do it for an hour each day or for an entire day, You will know what you can do successfully.
  •  

    Our Town News Magazine

     

    In conclusion, you can be one of the 0.7% of people who are successful with their New years’ Resolutions if you can develop a plan of what you can do to incorporate the change, change your thinking, define the way the success of the resolution will be experienced, and then build upon living that experience until it is manifest. This process is easily doable but may require some further direction. Please contact my office for online seminars for successful resolutions and with any questions you may have.

     

    I’m very proud to announce that this is the first of many articles which will be featured in Our Town News magazine.

     

    December 31, 2013

    A New Beginning

    It is a new beginning but most of us will identify with resolutions — whether we make them or not. What was 2013 like for you? Can you name 10 or more things you were grateful for in the past year? Write down those 2013 experiences for which you are grateful and then ask yourself, “How can I build upon these experiences in 2014?”

     

    Too often we look at that which we do not like and then say we are going to change! The problem is that we are coming from an “I don’t like this” position. For example, if I don’t like Lima beans am I really going to be able to force my Self to eat them just because I made a resolution to do so? But if I have been eating more vegetables and I find my Self is enjoying new vegetables then I may make a promise to expand my repertoire of vegetables by tasting new ones and old ones that I did not like. Now, what if we look at our body and we dislike it and say we are going to change it? Is that like Lima beans? YES! We will try to avoid that which we do not like. So, we will work out an not see immediate results and fizzle because of disgust or some sort of feeling. If we love the feeling of our healthy, fit body we will work toward that experience in small steps.

     

    Honor your Self this new year. Build upon that which you enjoy and wish to enjoy. I am so grateful for all of you are supporting me by reading my blog posts. I thank you! I wish you all a very happy and fulfilling year ahead!

     

    With warmth,
    Kristen

    October 23, 2013

    Women’s Empowerment?

    Women do not need to be empowered!! That implies they don’t have the power. But women are power — graceful, beautiful power. They are a source of power and an expression of power. The problem is that women have been subsumed into a patriarchal structure for so long that they forgot where they hid their truth! The truth of who they are as magikal, healing, powerful women. And so, women need to learn how to unveil the very power that is their’s and then it will become a natural part of their expression in their lives. Women will then begin to teach their daughters and other women.

     

    To the indigenous people of the land, women were honored for who and what they were/are. They created life and community. They were protected. That honoring was the same for all indigenous people on all continents. At that time, people enjoyed the balance of the male-female energy in genders and in life. The men would hunt and the women would gather. It was a simple but deep appreciation for the differences that so beautifully complimented one another. Then society began and the warriors became the leaders and society became patriarchal and women became possessions: shamed and oppressed. Over time, women bought into their status and began to identify themselves through men’s perspective and wants.

     

    Women have been through a lot over this time. For example, they have been accused of evil, shamed for having their own thoughts, and have been sexualized. With the advent of Christianity, only male priests were allowed to heal. So, all of a sudden, anyone else healing was practicing the work of “the devil”. That resulted in women being accused of being witches if they healed. Witches became perceived as evil rather than the healers they were. While it’s impossible to have an exact number historians estimate at least 35,000 to 100,000 were burned and tortured from 1450-1750AD. Women have also been kept by patriarchal structures that shame them or destroy them for having their own thoughts or desires. Some of those cultures are still castrating their women! Many cultures don’t pay a woman the same as a man, (The U.S. included! Click Here for some interesting stats. ) a very subtle form of shaming a woman. Women have been extensively sexualized. They are sex objects in movies (even if they are the hero!!!), tv, media, life. Over time, as can be seen through these examples, women have been destroyed: physically, emotionally, and energetically. Consequently, the balance shifted to an imbalance of male energy in a patriarchal environment and women bought into the fear that they could be destroyed. Women then submitted at various levels. (This is a blog entry in and of itself.)

     

    As women gain an awareness, a comprehensive awareness, of how they have been remodeled to the needs of the male, they can begin to see the truth of who they are as women and in absence of the male definition that historically they had to buy into. It is at that point that women will begin to heal. They will begin to unveil and step into their power. Women will then begin to define and create their own experiences in their lives and for others. Women will no longer wait for men or society to define them. What a beautifully powerful place to be.

     

    October 17, 2013

    Success and Anorexia

    Many strong, successful career women seem to have had eating disorders in their past. And many of those women seem to have married or are dating men who are much more attentive to the home and children. It is as if the roles and definitions have been reversed.

     

    In my experiences, it appears that, in general, strong ambitious women do not learn how to define themselves in this culture so they identify with men in their need to find acceptance. When young, they may struggle with their female curves and body and, more often than not, work to eliminate it with the eating disorder. It seems to be of continued importance for them to maintain an attractive figure and appearance in adulthood. They also continue to develop a more male-oriented position in life through career and providing. They tend to have a hidden judgment about being taken care of and so make sure they do not need to be “taken care of” by providing for the family. It may be important for them to feel in control. Again, this may be due to the need to identify with a man’s world and find acceptance through being good enough.

     

    But why do they tend to marry or date less ambitious men? It appears to represent their need to feel accepted without having to work so hard at it; to be able to relax and not take things so seriously. It appears to be a compliment to their intensity. It is as if they are learning to love the very part of themselves they used to hate. As if they are accepting the very characteristics in their partner that they desperately needed accepted in their Self as a child.

     

    More often than not, however, the relationship appears to take on an abusive quality. That again, goes back to the days of the eating disorder. The control of the eating, was the struggle to stay away from the judgment of not being good enough. It is that very judgment that creates shame in an individual. The judgments may also allow the woman to feel unaccepted and, consequently, not belonging to the family or group. The shame and absence of belonging are two consistent characteristics in the abuse pattern in an individual.

     

    A woman of this experience may be struggling internally with being good enough and may still be looking for extrinsic rewards or reinforcers to confirm that she is good enough to be loved, accepted. Part of this may be due to the perception that in our society, women need to shut down their female aspects to succeed in business. This leaves an internal feeling of not being good enough because as a woman you cannot be who you are. It may also be that the very shame that developed in them as young women interrupted their ability to define their Self and lead to the eating disorder or more. Or, maybe, as an ambitious female, her role models were males and so she learned to shut down her female aspects to be more like a man in order to be accepted by men. This suggests women may perceive that they cannot be accepted into a man’s world for who they are and so need to be like a man to be accepted as a professional among them. It may then be more clear that they would choose a partner who is complimentary, supportive, and caring of who they are.

     

    As women begin defining their Self from an intrinsic point of reference, they will begin to accept their Self for who they are which will lead to feeling accepted by others and, consequently, society. Women will then pass forward the defining of self for self and by self. This will end women defining themselves through men. I believe the ending of women defining their self through men will also have an impact on the numbers of eating disorders. Just think, mothers and women will no longer press their daughters and younger women (respectively) to be thin in order to be loved, they will begin teaching a healthy lifestyle that embraces the unique characteristics of each child. Something so many women want and try to achieve.

     

    March 26, 2013

    Women and Cheating: The Aftermath Part 3

    Because women are now cheating as much as men, we have been looking at some of the reasons why that may be occurring.  Regardless of why, cheating is a devastating experience for the one betrayed and often for the one who is unfaithful and possibly, for others. I will talk in generals here but please know that each individual has his or her own reaction to each and every event in his or her life.  Clearly a woman feels the betrayal and more when a man cheats on her in a relationship.  Although a man may also feel the betrayal, beyond that he tends to have different reactions when a woman cheats on him in a relationship.  Why? (Again with the why???)  There can be obvious differences in the motivations that drive women and men. So, in this series, I have addressed some of the differences in what drives a woman to be unfaithful?

     
    Pain is the result of the act and can be the underlying drive for the act.  In general, both sexes were socialized to see it as more common (if not acceptable) for a man to have an affair or to keep a mistress.  While learning about dating, society teaches that the woman is passive, the one who is asked, and the man is aggressive, the one who does the asking.  The woman is taught by society that it is okay to be emotional and to express those emotions but men are taught to not be emotional or express emotions. Society further teaches that it is not becoming for a woman to be angry and it is acceptable for a man to be angry.  Why are these tidbits of information important?
     
    If the woman seeks the affair she has become the aggressor and opposes the perception of being the passive.  She is no longer keeping her Self for her partner. She is expected to behave in a manner of saying “No!” to the advances of the pursuing man. A woman also tends to be more emotionally expressive in her sexual behaviors and it gives a man an opportunity to express love and his softer emotions during that time.  So, when these pieces (and more) are affected by an affair, it throws all expectations and perceptions helter skelter.  Is she giving her Self to the other? Or, is she behaving “like a man” and just having sex with the other without the emotional connection?  He does not know.  He feels the betrayal and the confusion, overwhelm,  loss, etc.  His only avenue for expression is the anger that is  the secondary reaction to any and all of the painful emotions he may be feeling.  Does she avoid her anger by going back into the “other” relationship? Or, maybe going to that relationship in the first place was to get away from that very anger.  Understanding the why can lead to a new beginning for the persons involved and, if desired, for the couple. EVERYTHING in life happens, ultimately, for the purpose of growth.  People just may not see it when they are amid the pain and suffering.
     
    In conclusion, when one learns their partner has given their Self to someone else it can be a deep loss as well as a betrayal to the trust and love once felt.  When a partner goes elsewhere for sex,  the faithful partner may feel that his or her love wasn’t good enough and that, consequently, as a person, he or she is not good enough.  The act has now been personalized, thereby evoking deep feelings of shame. Men and women need to work through that shame as well as the other emotions felt to heal the relationship, any future relationship, and, most importantly, to heal their Selves. How do the men and women work through the pain, shame and betrayal? Without judgement, the person has to ask, “Why? Why is this in my life?”
     

    March 19, 2013

    Women and Cheating: Part 2

    To understand the why of the affair does NOT condone the behavior. It does, however, promote the opportunity to heal from the wounds that may be underlying the behavior. To judge the behavior and not ask why is to further shame a person who is needing to be heard in some way. What if the affair behavior is coming from a deep wound? Is it the same behavior as someone who is angry and lashing out at their significant other? No. While there are a myriad of possible answers to the why, this article will address the subordinate position of the woman in a patriarchal society, residual anger, and perceived lack of power. I welcome any and all of your thoughts.

     

    As I mentioned, over the ages, women have been shamed, demeaned, and destroyed. They were shamed for speaking their mind and for even having their own thoughts, wants, needs or ideas! They have continued to be kept or portrayed in a subordinate position. Girls continue to be socialized around the “look pretty, be dependent” message, e.g., broadcast media and Hollywood. Even if a woman is a heroine in a film she is sexually presented. Women appear to feel, and identify with, the subtle (and not so subtle) oppression. With that comes a deep need to free her Self from the internal bondage she feels from society and it’s judgment. This is a patriarchal society. Women as a whole are growing into strong leadership positions. Yet still feel the impact of the social limitations. It isn’t “cool” to be a strong, intelligent woman in a business suit. It is cool to be a strong, intelligent woman in a short skirt and high heels! Unfortunately, more often than not, others will notice ONLY her attire in an unspoken need to sexualize her. So, at some level is it possible that women are “trying” to master this feeling of being a sexual object by standing in the oppressors’ shoes and sexualizing men as objects?

     

    Another possible hidden (or not so hidden) expression is that of anger — anger at men for various reasons OR anger at themselves for not being “strong enough” to withstand manipulations/controls by society and/or men. There are quite a few perceived double binds for women in society and in business. One is that she cannot be aggressive and go against that which is going against her and yet she cannot be passive and accepting of the aggression. There is so much more I could address in this area but not in this blog. It is this anger, which women are not encouraged to express, that can be a part of their using men for sexual satisfaction or cheating on their partners.

     

    While a woman may be fighting to attain a position of power through her sexual encounters, she rarely leaves those situations/experiences with a feeling of empowerment but rather defeat, guilt, or shame. A woman’s body must open to receive. Each time she receives sexually from an encounter that is not loving she feels the impression. Therefore, If the current relationship is not fulfilling and she finds herself being attended to or honored by another, she is more likely to open herself to the Other. In general, it is important for a woman to feel emotional and physical acceptance in order to stay connected in her romantic relationship.Without that connection she is left sexually vulnerable and tends to pull back thereby leaving her in need. In other words, the more open and safe a woman feels the more likely she is to feel sexual because of the way women are socialized as well as the female energy by which they are dominated.

     

    Given these changing times for women and society, it is a sad but real trend that women are more apt to have affairs. The three possible answers to why are far from comprehensive. I would love to hear any of your thoughts. If you have been tempted or acted upon the temptation to cheat — why?

    March 12, 2013

    Women and Cheating

    Women are now cheating on their relationships as much as men. Is there a difference in the cheating? I would like to address this question over the next week. So, lets begin with a basis of an understanding. The differences in men and women are to be honored. It is in the differences that the unity can occur in life. And yet, women do things that mimic men and men do things to meet women’s expectations. In both cases, the one is identifying their Self through the Other. Today, let’s just look at the differences.

     

    For all of time people have divided the world and life into the feminine and masculine. The division was based upon the energy and qualities of the source. Female energy is the receiving energy and, consequently, the passive. Male energy is the going-toward energy and, consequently, the aggressive. For example, in baseball, the pitcher symbolizes the male energy (ball is going toward, aggressive) and the catcher is the female energy (ball is received, passive). We all have both aspects but tend to be dominated by one. Let me go one step further, male energy is linear or solution oriented and female is circular or process oriented. We then socialize our men to be ultra masculine (beyond the male-energy traits) and women to be ultra “sexualized” (sometimes in absence of her female-energy).

     

    Historically, women were held in honor and in a position of power because they were the creators of life. Throughout time, the honoring of the woman’s body has remained even when the honoring of the woman has not. In recent ages, this has been failing significantly. The trend appears to have become women not feeling honored but, instead, shamefully not good enough by “social” standards. Most recently, it appears the younger women are not knowing how to honor their position as women and their bodies as a woman’s body. The young women today are showing greater aggression, sexual expression without definition, and androgyny. Feminine has come to mean weak.

     

    In life, if someone is “gone against” in some way, they will attempt to master their vulnerable position by “re-enacting” similar situations throughout life but playing the role of the Other who went against them. A potent example of this is a response when a woman is raped. She may respond in a variety of ways but two very common responses are to shut down sexually or to become “promiscuous” (which really is not promiscuity at all). What she is doing in the former is attempting to master the rape by feeling her Self in the forceful position of NO where the Other cannot go against her. In the latter position, she is attempting to master the violence by being in the forceful demanding position sexually and picking up anonymous Others for the sole purpose of sex. Unfortunately in both extremes, the woman leaves the situation re-experiencing the shame and violation from the original criminal event. And so, the emotional pattern begins again.

     

    So, back to the question of affairs. I believe there is more to women having affairs than the simplicity of affairs that men are capable of experiencing. Women, in some cases, appear to be attempting to master something that has gone against their integrity in this life or lineage. As a whole, women may be responding to inherent feelings of oppression from this global patriarchal structure — a more subconscious reaction. There may also be hidden anger that they are not aware is being expressed through the action of the affair. Furthermore, a woman’s body adds a very significant difference to the equation because they are meant to receive. Consequently, sexually, women must open their body to receive into it. I will be addressing these differences and the possible meanings to women in the upcoming blog entries. I look forward to your feedback!!

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