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Archive for January, 2014



who is this She that’s coming again?

let me explain.

these last few winter months, i’ve been reviewing my year of exuberant HIGHS and dark LOWS.

nathan and griffinHIGH: my son took his first wobbly baby steps and his first toddling run on the beach. every morning he wakes up singing “twinkle, twinkle, little star” but uses “mama” for every word. one of his first complete sentences was, “no owie. happy me, mama.” his baby-laughs heal all that ails me.

LOW: i swam in near despair for nearly 4 months as my post-weaning disregulated hormones hijacked my sanity. i got acne (i’m 41 for goodness sake!), insomnia, anhedonia (the inability to feel emotional and physical pleasure), and 10 extra pounds. i doubted daily that i would ever feel like myself again.

HIGH: i offered my mentorship program for the first time, a wild, wondrous success. women thanked me, saying, “thank you for bringing me back to life,” “now i know what it is to be a woman,” and “nothing is, or ever was, wrong with me. i was just too busy to listen to my body.” if i died today, i would be happy.

liyana leading

LOW: i took the advice of my mind over my body, even know i know better. i wasted nearly a month working on a project i knew in my heart and body wasn’t right. self-prescription: burn big time in the fire of my own medicine. ouch.

HIGH: i have on spiritual speed-dial seven muse/friend/entrepreneur/mentor/biz-whiz/edge-cutter sisters. i do a daily dance of booty-shaking gratitude that i called in and sustained this off-the-charts circle of sisterhood.

liyana portraitLOW: i’ve raised my fist to the sky and wailed, “i just can’t do it all: be a great mama. friend. lover. wife. house-mate. businesswoman. learner. earner. compassionate communicator. i can’t do it.”

i forgot that everything takes four times as long and is four times as complex to pull off than in my pre-baby life and i assigned blame to my personal shortcomings. i forgot that my minor superpower is bringing pleasure to most unpleasant things. i forgot to step back, to rest and to ask for help.

liyana mexico

HIGH: i feel beautiful, smart and capable in my husband’s gaze. every year, for ten years, we’re careful to have a honeymoon-like adventure and every year i want to marry him all over again. in fact, i’m at this very moment writing to you from mexico, 85 degrees, bikini on, this year’s adventure ON.

HIGH. LOW. HIGH. LOW. this too shall pass.

exuberance. despair. exuberance. despair. this too shall pass.

during the short, dark, dank, depressing days of Winter, i always doubt if Spring will come again.

and She always does.

Spring comes again. light, strength, change … they always come again.

 

heroine's journeyin my mentorship program, Woman: The Embodiment Experience i teach women how this Winter-Spring-Summer-Fall cycle maps onto our monthly feminine cycle. the exuberant HIGHS and dark LOWS we go through, they are not a mistake or faulty wiring, as most of us think and are lead to believe. it is these cycles – and knowing exactly where we are in ’em – that is actually the key to our true feminine power.

so “Summer” becomes code for the week (more or less) of any given month when you’d be ovulating: you feel like a million bucks, you glow like a second sun, you are feisty, inspired and unstoppable. HIGHS are what summer is all about.

“Winter” becomes code for the week (more or less) of any given month when you’d be bleeding: you feel ugly and stuck. you know you can’t do it. you doubt and despair. you wonder why anyone wants to be around you. LOWS are what winter is all about, and winter always seems to last longer than any human can bear.

so how do we spend as little time stuck in Fall and Winter and as much time sunning ourselves in Spring and Summer?

here’s my best playbook for we women:

1. embrace the paradox.

being a woman, having ups and downs built in to your delicate wiring, knowing this too shall pass while knowing you can change anything, can be crazy-making unless you throw up your hands, laugh and shake hands with the cosmic riddle that is The Feminine.

2. listen to your inner-guidance, soul-truth.

at the end of the day, only you know. who else would know, but you?

say, “thanks anyway, cosmo. sayonara, well-meaning advice. get thee gone, latest fad. hush, must-read blog. silence, gossip rag.”

keep the council of your own heart and bones. they are wise beyond measure.

3. sisterhood, sisterhood, sisterhood.

get as many women as you can fit in your life, who share your values, coax out your best and around whom you feel whole and beautiful.

listen to them.

i know i just said only listen to yourself and only you know. there’s that paradox thing again, what can i say?

a True Sister will remind you you’re not at the end of your rope, it’s just Winter time. she will see blindspots you never can and will help you avert disaster. she’ll be so gorgeous, accomplished and wise that sometimes you’ll feel small and lame next to her – and she’ll snap you out of it in a hot minute, a shiny mirror to your always-was-there brilliance.

4. welcome the Winters.

invite them in to sit and have tea instead of making them wrong.

open your arms to your hot-mess-ness instead of playing the fool’s game of perfectionism.

or else you’ll feel wrong, crazy and broken … like clockwork … at least every 28 days or so.

because when you welcome Winter, you gain the perspective that your LOW is part of your process. it’s meant to be there, it’s your teacher, it’s an asset not a liability. Winter not where your story ends, it’s where it begins.

if you try to rip yourself out of Winter times too quickly, you’ll fumble your lesson and you’ll miss that red-hot kernel of your strength and power that you only get by keeping afloat way, way after the point you were sure you would drown.

5. do your deep, internal work.

sometimes you just duck for cover and wait for the storm of Winter to pass. sometimes time takes care of it for you. (hallelujah!)

and some miseries can be shifted. forever. thorns transformed into pearls. never to return. (hallelujah!)

6. when you get the full-body YES-nudge, say YES.

this is your soul calling to you from the other side. go. jump off and fly toward it.

even though your feathers might get singed, this YESing of your desire will always exhilarate you and reveal another sliver of your Truth.

(and conversely, when you get the full-body, scalp-tingly NO, stop in your tracks. back off.)

heeding your YES and your NO is never something you’ll regret.

so, to my original question: who is this She that’s coming again?

Spring, sweet merciful Spring is just around the corner.

my mentorship program, The Embodiment Experience, my sweet, powerful, life’s-work, magnificent, magnum-opus program, is just around the corner.

your next HIGH, sweet, affirming HIGH is just around the corner. (and yes, so is your next wild and wise LOW…)

so keep an eye out.

i’ve much to share with you in the coming weeks about seasons, cycles, mentorship, jealousy, the science of why pleasure is a non-negotiable for women, your sexy wild woman’s wisdom, and the bass-ackward, often awkward, always awe-inspiring way we women can claim it ALL for our very own.

to you,

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i had dinner a while ago with two of my girlfriends at a sumptuous French bistro by the bay in San Francisco.

these women are both stunningly beautiful, smart as whips and entrepreneurial wizards.

one’s married to a gorgeous surgeon at the best hospital in SF, is about to give birth to her first baby any day now and is glowing and at ease since she just put two year’s worth (!!!) of income in the bank so she can give herself completely over to mommy hood.

the other had recently spoken to an audience of several thousand people, is in an epic love affair with a millionaire celebrity hottie and was sharing about her travels with dear girlfriends to four exotic countries last year while bringing in near seven figures in her biz.

they both radiate health, style, quiet self-confidence and soul-deep contentment.

i was showered in enough brilliance to put PG&E out of business and light up the evening skyline.

so, then the question is: was i crawling out of my skin with envy? did i carefully watch what i said, for fear of seeming stupid or inept? did i worry they would talk shit about me later? did i feel less beautiful, less successful and less lovable as i compared myself to these women and their lives?

READ: did i worry if i could really trust these women?

the answer is NO.

HELL NO.

and here’s WHY:

i find that one of the biggest energy leaks for women is the fear and mistrust we have of other women. (if you like it, feel free to tweet it)

over thousands of years (for as long as women have been dependent on others for our food, care, roof-over-our-heads, money, reputation and personal power), we have grown to see other women as threats.

if someone else has control over the stuff you need, you can very quickly get into competition with the other folks who might get your stuff instead of you.

:: she comes from a better family than you? she gets married to the powerful bread-winner, not you.

:: she’s more beautiful than you? she gets the love affair, not you.

:: she’s smarter than you? she gets the dream job, not you.

:: she’s sexier than you? she gets the love. the loyalty, and the soul-bursting orgasms, not you.

:: she makes more money than you? she gets the admiration and the status, not you.

there are two really big stinky problem with this popular line of reasoning:

1. competition is not women’s true nature.

2. there are enough love affairs, dream jobs, love, loyalty, orgasms, admiration and status for every woman. and plenty left over.

many of us women are no longer dependent on others for the stuff we need to flourish. (no not ALL women, not by a long shot. but probably YOU)

however, we can still see other women as threats, to be competed with and preferably bested. we still have left-over and outdated mistrust coursing through our DNA, built up over thousands of years.

not ALL women are trustable, yet. but A CERTAIN KIND of women is thoroughly and powerfully trustable:

:: she is no longer at war with herself, but who has befriended herself.

:: she reveres her body, learns the language of her inner wisdom and prioritizes her juiciness. because of those things, she then starts to trust her self.

:: she no longer sees herself as a wild beast, just waiting for her to loose the reins of control for a moment, only to run off into the wilds of fat-lonely-ugly-broke-toothless-and-homeless.

:: she is fueled by her sensuality and trusts her desires to lead her.

:: she is rockin’ her own unique brand of the feminine. (this one’s tweetable, too!)

:: she’s no longer trying to GET; she has an overflow to GIVE.

:: she coaxes out your best: instead of feeling smaller and less than in her presence, you feel that the brightest, most glorious version of you is not just possible, but probable.

because of all this, she’s the kind of woman who is thoroughly and powerfully trustable.

your body, your woman’s body, is hooked up to infallible divine guidance. the energy that courses through your veins is the same that infinitely renewable Source that powers life itself, so you can create a baby, create a business or create real change in the world.

i stand proudly astride my soap box and say (because i know for myself and have observed in other sassy lassies): a woman’s true nature is overflowing-enough-ness.

in fact, here are some snapshots of women who graduated from my mentorship program, The Embodiment Experience.

every single one came in asking the question, “can i really trust other women?” and came out with these answers:

“where as before I didn’t trust women friends and had some really toxic experiences of gossip and lack of support, now i have loving, connected, empowered and supporting relationships with women that feels like sisters. there is support to shine in the world, for me to be who I am and be held in loving light as i hold my sisters in loving light.”

“I was able to connect with other women before, but I was always holding something back to keep me safe from getting hurt. I now see every woman as my sister, loving her deeply. I am surrounding myself with support from women in my life and instead of seeing it as taking away my productive time. i see it as life-giving requirement.”

“i now have an entourage proclaiming my power and the value of what I bring to the world. I’ve rarely felt as powerful as i do in the witnessing of this group of women.”

“the women who I experienced this group mentorship with are in my life forever. The bonds we built between each other are those of immense trust and understanding. They are an extension of family for me, and I am forever grateful for having them in my life.”

(i’m opening up applications for this year’s mentorship program in a couple weeks, so stay tuned!)

when a woman’s well is full, it naturally overflows in the juiciest of ways on to other people. you get clear on what you want to contribute to the world. you value your voice, tremendously. you take pleasure in your daily moments NOW while you yearn deliciously for WHAT’S NEXT on your adventure plate.

around you, people can’t wait to be their best selves. your presence is firestick, lighting a flame in their hearts.

can you really trust other women? no, not all of them.

but can you trust the lit-up ones? the ones that are at home in their skins, who have found a compass at their core, who know their worth and who are rocking their own unique brand of the feminine?

HELL YES.

you can trust that kind of woman with your child. with your newest, tenderest desire. with the keys to your Porsche or your raw, hurting heart.

you can trust her to hold you with love and respect. you can trust her to call bullshit on you when you need some stretching. you can trust her to remind you of your beauty and brilliance (randomly, and when you need it most).

i have purposely surrounded myself with THIS kind of sisterhood: i hang out with them, mastermind with them, cry with them, celebrate with them and dine with them.

i have purposely aligned every bit of my teaching, leading, writing and coaching to SERVE the emergence of THIS kind of woman.

in the presence of their firestick beings, the world becomes LIT.

i pray you have at least one woman like this, if not a dozen, surrounding you.

if not, please get one or some. please. your life – and the woman you know yourself to be – will transform.

the first step is learning how to trust your own bad self, your own woman’s body, so you become that open, confident, tail-swinging, trustable woman who attracts similar women, to her.

so here’s a nice practice, to start it off, and start rocking your own unique brand of the feminine:

1. start with your envy of her. (really)

let’s say her six-pack abs make you green.

2. then, ask yourself if you had that thing you envy, how would it make you feel? what would it make possible for you? (really dig down on this one)

let’s say you come up with something like:

it would make you feel powerful, strong and sexy. it would then be possible to feel lovable and capable of having a beautiful relationship.

3. KNOW THIS: you would not notice that thing in her, if it wasn’t beginning to burn and blossom in you.

that’s how it goes with women. you wouldn’t even perceive her abs (that shorthand for power, strength, sexiness, lovability, etc) if the potential wasn’t IN YOU ALREADY.

4. so, lastly, ask yourself, “in what ways can i notice that in ME today?”

so, in the six-pack-abs example, you’d ask yourself, “in what ways can I notice my power, strength and sexiness today? and while I’m at it, my absolute lovability?”

if you let her, your sweet self will begin to gather evidence of your lovability; she’ll collect examples of your power and strength to lay at your feet and she’ll wink at you, “oo-la-la, sexy!” many, many times in your day.

5. join the conversation below and share the thing you tend to be most envious of, in other women.

do you tend to notice her six-pack abs or luscious hair? that she makes “six figures” and drives a hot-shot car? that she always seems at peace within herself?

and hey, i’ll share, too. only fair, right? i bet you that my flavor of “other-woman-envy” might come as a surprise 😉

(envy doesn’t go away, you just get better and better at transforming it!)

to YOU, stepping fully into this kind of woman (and surrounding yourself with a bunch, too),

LiYana



in this vein of how you do one thing is how you do anything …

… if someone observed you making love or in orgasm, what would they infer for how you lead your life?

by O, orgasm i mean, yes, sexual arousal and sensual expansion, but i also mean: your pleasure, your bliss, your ability to relax and receive.

which sounds most like how YOU do the DO?

THE RUSH JOB:

* how long is this going to take? i don’t have time for this!
* can’t we do this later?
* oh, ok, i’ll do you a favor.
* now i’m taking too long.

THE PRINCESS:

* you’re here to serve me, right?
* how do i look?
* am i doing this right?
* not sure how that was for you, but at least i got mine.

THE RENUNCIATE:

* sex? orgasm? pleasure? what’s that?
* oh, i gave that up for lent 7 years ago.
* feel good? i’m too busy feeling bad so i can deserve feeling good.
* enjoy myself? i’d rather not. it’s rather messy and i might look stupid.

THE MARTYR:

* YOUR pleasure might matter, but mine? not so much.
* oh, well, if we must, i’ll “think of england.”
* don’t worry about me, i’ll be fine.
* la-la-la-la-la (fingers in ears)

why exactly do i care about your sensual pleasure? as much as i want for you plentiful and heart-expanding Os, what i really care about is that you as a woman are sensually expressed and sensually filled up.

you, sensually expressed. you, sensually filled up.

WHY? because that’s when your feminine genius struts her stuff.

that’s when you’re naturally shining brightest. tapped into your calling. brave, clear and full of moxie.

that’s when you are your tail-wagging-est, largest-hearted, sassiest self.

now, i’ve known this without a shred of doubt for years.

and over the past months, i’ve been diving into some ground-breaking medical and scientific research that can now document the PHYSICAL connection between a woman’s PLEASURE and her CONFIDENCE.

let me say that again: not just the EMOTIONAL connection (which i bet you can feel, right?), but PHYSICAL connection. on the level of nerves, chemicals and hormones.

the exceedingly brief reader’s digest version is that the physical experience of pleasure for a woman causes her brain to release (among other chemicals) dopamine.

dopamine = sass, sure-footedness, zest for life.

want to be confident? you need to be a pleasured woman.

i’m obviously obsessed with the exact potent combination of understandings, practices and ways of being that have women IGNITE and be the brilliant badasses we truly are.

it’s partly because i’ve been happily and myopically focused on my high-level mentorship program, which will be open again for 2014 applications in a few weeks.

it’s a cauldron in which i’ve combined ALL of those potent ingredients that truly blossoms our WomanNess.

turns out, your sexual energy is the same as your creative energy. and, where you might have blocks sexually and sensually, there are often parallels to where you might be blocked creatively.

CREATE as in make art, make love, make business, make babies, make friends and make a home.

most women think pleasure is worse than a four-letter word. most women pattern their own sexual energy from of man’s:

1. get hot quickly.

2. come as fast and hard as possible.

3. done.

but listen: it takes the average women around 20 minutes of playing around to even START to get aroused. straight up intercourse doesn’t yield climax for over 80% of women.

we often have no idea what pleasures us uniquely, that it might be a different beast from his altogether. (and any other woman’s for that matter).

men and a lot of women learn about what sex and pleasing their partners should be and look like, through porn. which is a lot like studying a paper menu and trying to recreate the meal from the black-and-white words on the page.

bottom line: for most of us, it’s an outside-in job.

i say, our sensual lives should be an inside-out job.

i’m all for the fabulous quickie. hard and fast Os aren’t a problem in and of themselves.

but when it’s ALL you know, when you aren’t on intimate terms the vast sensual landscape that is your birthright, when you don’t take your pleasure seriously – in and out of the bedroom – then i take issue.

i say it again: want to be confident? you need to be a pleasured woman.

the degree to which you are sensually expressed and sensually full-filled is the degree to which you feel truly alive. it is not only fun and pleasurable, it’s the key to your juice and brilliance as a woman. (like ‘er? feel free to tweet ‘er)

so maybe you’d go instead for guidelines (for sex and for life) along the lines of:

THE SAVOR-ER:

* savor.

* stop. breathe. feel.

* reach up and into sensation in order to feel more.

* notice urges and impulses as they come up, share them (boldly, kindly and exuberantly) with the knowledge that if you were thinking it, likely they were too.

* remind yourself: it’s good to feel good. your hunger is holy.

* this is a great spot. let’s linger here for a nice, long while.

* the more I’M having a pleasurable time, the more HE is and THEY are, too.

* how can we make this the most fun possible?

* there’s as much (or more!) enjoyment in the journey as in reaching the destination. (ever notice how much more fun it can be to get ready for the party than the party itself?)

* let’s widen the aperture of our senses to drink in more of life.

* let it in. let it come.

o, oh, O,

liyana signature M