Viewing entries tagged
narrative change

Sexual Healing: Intimacy, Celibacy & Identity

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Sexual Healing: Intimacy, Celibacy & Identity

Since last week I started talking about sex and you all got so excited since it was my most read blog this year I thought we should continue the conversation. Clearly it interests everyone. As someone who has lived in community for years and also dealt with many common life struggles that had great influence on my sex life I wanted to share some insights on intimacy, celibacy and identity.

I had no feeling on the left side of my body for close to 25 years. When it first happened I was newly married and sex was the farthest thing from my mind. I literally know the exact moment and place my daughter was conceived because I only had sex one time in many months. There was no question about her conception because my body was in the throws of my very first attack from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and life was upside down. Daily I was losing control of my body and sex not even a consideration. Sad reality for a newly married couple after only 6 weeks our world unhinged completely. Pregnancy was a gift, but life was still horrifically scary.

At this time I had no tools to deal with these changes in my life. My lack of sex life was involuntary, very real and having a kid made things even harder.

I felt frustrated, angry and mad that sex was not in my newly married life. I felt shame and guilt because MS took my feeling and desire for sex and replaced it with fear. I am sure there are many reading who can identify a time when life took this from you as well.

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How do you handle an involuntary sexless life?

I had zero tools in my “Bag of Tricks'“ when I was younger. I didn’t deal with it. Much later in life personally my sexual healing involved learning about intimacy outside of sex. It did not happen until I was in a relationship much later to someone who struggled with mental illness. The many prescription medicines taken by my partner offered an encyclopedia of side effects that included zero sex drive and desire.

There was a period of several years I lived married and without sex.

This situation was hard for both of us and we worked with a therapist to develop and discover intimacy in other ways. Not going to lie intimacy without sex can be better in ways never imagined. The power of touch, acts of kindness and simply being in the same space together were ways of sharing intimacy that I found to be beyond the joy of sex. Personally I found all of this to be very hard to wrap my head around at first, but eventually a tenderness developed that made this all very special. To date I have never duplicated the sweet tenderness sexless intimacy brought to my life. I still missed having sex, but found this period of time to be more intimate than any other time in my life to date.

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Ever considered voluntary celibacy?

You might be thinking like I did when my friend back in my Venice Beach days shared she decided that was her path. I thought she was out of her mind and informed her daily. I also believed that it was not good for your health not to have sex. Not kidding there is science that shares this truth. Her desire was for a fixed period of time no sex. The end. No matter what I said she decided to be celibate for a time and never looked back.

It took me years of self discovery and honest conversation, but today I look at celibacy as a bio-hacking tool.

I believe celibacy holds the same power as not taking supplements for periods of time. It’s good to take some time off, let your body reset and to check in with yourself seeing what it really needs. I often do not take supplements when traveling to give my body a chance to see what it can do on its own without relying on supplements. Personally it feels like a total baseline reset.

Celibacy and supplement bio-hacking I see though a similar lens.

For many in long term relationships sex often becomes routine and simply an action based event. Now don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for all of that, but if we were all honest in most long term relationships sex is a playbook. A boring, quick, you can count on playbook. A celibate period offers an opportunity to create the space to shake things up by abstaining.

Celibacy for those of us who are single allows for a time to check in and identify our perfect sex life. To really think about our bodies in a sexual way addressing, contemplating and identifying our ever changing sexual needs. It would be nice if our bodies offered some ‘status quo’, but the older I get the more I realize how quickly our they change no matter how hard we try to slow it down. Celibacy or abstinence through a healthy psychological lens can be a very powerful bio-hacking tool.

The thinking behind sexual identity seems to be evolving with a volume similar to the sexual revolutions of the 60’s and 70’s.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s during the sexual revolution and today’s sexual movements regarding identity outside of the binary feels more liberating. In real time many in society are re-defining the rules on sexual partners and standards. Finding great love, happiness, joy and commitment using idea’s about relationships that are defined 100% outside of the status quo.

i believe this movement has strong foundations that support an almost universal sexual healing. The more we are able to freely identify without fear the more we can express our sexuality and feel safe. I have my eyes wide open and feel inspired and energized by all movements that support a persons right to sexually identify outside the binary. I am most excited about the movement to allow us to safely be free to express our own personal sexual identity without fear. This is long overdue.

For all of us there are times we need to bio-hack for sexual healing. Taking time to honor our body and mind regarding sex can create the space for sexual experiences that are redefined and respectful of where we are in the evolution of our lives.

In case you missed it this blog post a follow up to a previous one about sex and sex and sex and sex and sex.

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A Life in Review

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A Life in Review

As many of you know this gal is a goal setter. I live for the kill of successfully completing goals. I have also lived outside of societal and cultural norms most of my adult life. This time of year is when I review my year, reflect & set goals for the coming year.

This year is different all together & so unexpected simply because my kid got engaged.

Never did I sit to think about all the societal & cultural norms that are associated with weddings. All of this has left me with a “Life in Review.” Literally the emotional reflective journey the engagement has brought to my life I did not see coming. Nor did I think it would have me do a “Life in Review” this year as opposed to a reflection.

You see the things that make me a straight up a walking miracle & BOSS come with ‘side-effects’ that I only learn about in real time.

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A huge part of my healing is ‘controlling’ my environment of toxins which includes people. Being raised in such a dysfunctional family my ‘healthy’ relationship skills are lacking big time. So many in my life were toxic & a ton were family. I basically have little relations with any blood relatives except for a handful.

In addition to my ‘healthy’ relationship issues part of my charm is I have no problem telling anyone to “F off” which can be limiting.

All of this adds up to a very small circle of close friends. Now don’t get me wrong I realize I am a paid ‘influencer’ with an international following and that people have been known to pay money to spend time with me yet I don’t have a large circle of close friends. I have a handful and they are ‘my family.’ Many for decades who actually knew me before Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which matters so much to me.

I am an international brand with a very small circle of friends is one of the things the engagement has brought to the surface.

I have been so busy working on miracle status I never really thought about how my ‘circle’ has evolved during this healing journey. As a result the day my daughter gets married I will be entering a room of almost 200 people as the ‘Mother- of-the-Bride’ (MOB) and in that room may be a handful of people close to me and zero family.

This has been a gut wrenching real time situation for me.

It has taken me hours upon hours of hard self reflection to understand how I got here. From the word ‘go’ it has felt like I am a complete failure as a mom. Society places huge value on those in the room and on being MOB. I realized this is not what I have always envisioned on my daughters wedding day. My lens included that day filled with huge pride as friends and family bear witness to my daughters marriage to the man of her dreams.

Because my life regarding family sits outside of societal norms it appears my guest list didn’t pass the cultural norms test. This wedding even though my daughter’s - includes a traditional definition for family in the guest list. ‘Blood only’ which for most large Italian families always makes sense. The sad truth is that it without intention it dismisses me in the process. A reality I don’t think anyone realizes or understands.

I am not mad. I am not pointing fingers I am simply speaking a truth and how consciousness often puts you in situations like this you never saw coming. The last thing I want to be is an MOB who is an asshole so I thought and prayed really hard to figure out what this was and how to handle it. Once again all roads lead to my life choices to live consciously have somehow ‘ostracized’ me in a traditional wedding regardless of the fact I am MOB.

Cultural Collision once again happening here.

Just like my family did not understand the importance of my life to use food outside of cultural definition such as medicine and to recognize some was poison they once again failed to recognize family falls outside of defined cultural and societal norms for some.

Because my life choices fall outside of norms I don’t fit into defined criteria for family so it is not even seen. I am not for one second saying this is being done to be hurtful I am saying no one saw it coming. Not even me and I guess that is why the lesson has been so hard. Just like my daughter had dreams of her special day so did I. Little did I know how much my healing, miracle life would change those dreams.

Now before anybody gets their panties in a bunch this is not a post that I am mad at my kid. This is also not a post that my kid is a bad daughter. I have shared all of this with my daughter. This is a post similar to my TEDx sharing the HUGE challenges one faces when you live a conscious life and have your eyes wide open vs. societal norms determining who you are.

Situations like this have me review my entire life .

Not going to lie I keep wondering how the fuck did I get to a place where my life joy is getting married in front of 200 people and no one I care about will be there to share in this special day? I lose sleep thinking where I will sit at my own daughter’s wedding. Initially all I thought was how the fuck did this happen?

This happened because my life does not fit into ‘societal’ norms.

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What makes people most proud of me and defines the brand PaleoBOSS Lady® many times is not translated into normal life. People somehow want me to fit a norm the miracle me is unable to fit.. My #1 message about being a miracle is that it happens outside of norms and often causes a collision. Little did I know that even when your daughter gets married it will cause a collision.

As we continue to plan the wedding it brings my heart great joy to see my daughter so excited to be planning her life and dream wedding. I never really played out the daughter getting married journey in my mind and found this collision one of the hardest to date. Standing alone on such a special day was never in any play book, but hence this is where we are due to my conscious choices needed to live my best life.

How I Plan to Resolve This Collision?

  • Stay on my path.

  • Lead by example.

  • Believe all of this stands to educate others.

  • Know life always provides.

  • Make sure that when I enter the room heads turn.

  • Continue to be honest about my feelings.

I will say I have spent far to many hours wondering why my life has included no life partner, 2 failed marriages, living in 20+ homes, often being the only women in the board room and now living in a van serving. How come I didn’t get the play book that was get married, have kids, buy a house, pay it off, buy a beach house and be married for 50+ years while helping raise the grand-kids?

The answer is always me. My life is me.

I know that life is not defined by the number of people in a room at your daughters wedding who care about you and yet I also know overcoming the societal norms associated with such a day have been a huge hurdle I never saw coming. All of this happened side-by-side with my gluten poisoning which may have kept my gut health a challenge. Yet in the end it all really doesn’t matter. What matters is that when I look in the mirror I know what I see and often society will see it differently and I am okay with that. This is why I am a BOSS. Standing alone is where I am most comfortable & where I thrive even if it is my daughter’s wedding.

BAM!





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My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Healing Journey

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My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Healing Journey

  • I never knew I had PTSD.
  • I never realized my Daddy’s violent outbursts were from his PTSD as a WWII hero.
  • I never realized how much PTSD had negative impacts on my health.
  • I never realized my PTSD comfort came from food.

PTSD: A mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event.

My mom was a prescription pill drug addict my entire life. She had moments of sobriety, but they were brief and often ended with large increases in her addiction. By the time I was in high school she was addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling. She also was anorexic and vomited almost everyday.

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My dad was a WWII hero who was drafted on his 18th birthday. He was shipped overseas and served in active combat during the war. Awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery he suffered from server PTSD and often yelled, screamed and got physical with my sisters and mother.

I was never hit which is another blog topic.

I do remember the one time when dad strangled my oldest sister so hard around her neck it looked like she had a string of hickeys. The vision is as clear as day. My older sister was putting something in the oven and said something to my dad, which set off him lunging & grabbing her by the neck in a fit of rage.  He was literally strangling her and had to be pried off to get him to stop. I thought my sister was going to die from strangulation by my dad.

I always felt bad for both of my parents. They were great people simply victims of their upbringing.

  • No one recognized PTSD in the healthcare world during my childhood.
  • No one knew my dad was suffering from something he could not control.
  • No one knew what is was like for my dad to watch men be killed on the daily and what fearing for your life when others are shooting at you everyday is like.

My mom became an addict at the hands of doctors. She lost both her father and a foster sister within years of each other. Both tragic endings for two people my mom loved who also had hard lives making their untimely death an even harder pill to swallow. Doctors gave my mom opiates.

Her life of addiction began at the hands of those she trusted. Her doctors.

I remember when Michael Jackson (MJ) died and they released the drugs in his system it took me right back to my childhood. I knew all those drugs. My mom loved them all. She also had doctors she could manipulate like MJ to get whatever drugs she wanted. It was a sad, horrible existence that eventually took her life at the age of 55 due to liver and pancreatic cancer.

  • I used food for comfort most of my life. 
  • Feeling terrified started when I was born and ended at the age of 50.

Recently I helped a family in need and there was a sibling late night argument that included screaming and yelling. It was before the BAM van and I was staying in their home. This triggered so many PTSD symptoms I could not believe it. Here I thought I had solved my PTSD issues along with my miracle status and yet this trigger sent me way back. It was eye opening. I immediately had to open my "Bag of Tricks" to get started using all of my wellness tools to stop PTSD from triggering a negative unhealthy chain of events.

How do you heal from PTSD? Do you heal from PTSD?

The first step is realizing you have it. I did not know until I was in my 2nd marriage. when a therapist told me. My husband suffered from bio-polar disorder and had severe paranoia. It triggered and enhanced my PTSD.  I was traumatized almost daily by his words yelling and screaming about things that were in his mind only. I could see the changes on his face long before he expressed knowing I was in trouble for something I never even did. I lived in fear and he had many guns in our home and was an expert shooter which scared me even more.

Mental illness is hard no matter what side of the equation you are on, the victim or the one suffering.

I was seeing a wonderful therapist twice weekly and learning so much when I learned about PTSD. MS was winning at every turn and I was about 50 pounds over weight at this time. I could barely move my body and my marriage was a huge challenge with not much hope insight. My husbands bipolar was becoming increasingly hard to live with and my PTSD was at an all time high.

When my therapist mentioned PTSD to me and it was a HUGE blessing.

Realizing that a life filled with trauma came with a whole host of unhealthy outcomes literally gave me a path to healing. One time when my mom was in a rehabilitation center she paid for our family to have a weekend retreat to heal. One of the doctors told me that I will know when I have healed from the trauma of my childhood when weight is no longer an issue. Even he knew I had PTSD, but never really came out and told me.

Not going to lie I was pissed at the doctor when he said this. Only because I did not understand what he was really saying.

Food is my comfort and eating is how I self soothe. Many sucked their thumb I turned to food. The idea that PTSD was a driving force in many of my choices opened up an entire healing journey for me. It not only gave me insight into my actions, but more importantly it helped me to forgive both of my parents. This happened while they were both alive for which I am most grateful.

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Most treatments today for PTSD are prescription medications. I am not anti-drug, but I have not used this route for healing. Instead I took a more holistic approach.

My TOP 5 Healing Approaches to PTSD:

1.     Therapy – I love a good therapy session. Throw narrative therapy into the mix and I am one happy camper. I believe my therapists over the last 20 years helped pave the way for healing coupled with my hard work.

2.     Community – You know me and how much community is the ground on which I stand. Being able to talk with others who had similar experiences or simply a listening ear cannot be measured in value. Priceless.   

3.     Gut Health – Healing my gut diminished my anxiety attacks almost immediately. I went from the girl who lived on Xanax to no anxiety at all.

4.     Yoga – No words to describe the healing powers of yoga. There are so many direct links to the power of yoga in my life and managing PTSD is one of them.

5.     Meditation – Free and accessible meditation is key to helping quiet the mind to help decrease stress and deliver calm.

PTSD is treatable with conscious effort and actions. I am grateful today that I recognize triggers and have tools to help me. I am sad my parents did not get the help they needed simply because they suffered in silence.

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Review of Green Enough

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Review of Green Enough

The book Green Enough is a book filled with tips, tricks and insights into how to detox your home from top to bottom. Written by Leah Segedie this book offers a lens for the entire family to learn how to live consciously.

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I first was introduced to Leah's work about 3 years ago when I attended ShiftCon. Shiftcon is an eco-blogger event founded by Leah. Shiftcon is also the most supportive environment I ever participated in with my peers. From the moment you enter ShiftCon and at event you are supported, educated and respected for your contributions.

I was excited to read this book knowing Leah personally and how much she has opened my lens. I thought I was conscious and as I turned page after page I realized just how much I still need to learn. Love being a student! In addition not a handful of pages into the book when the 'f' bomb was dropped. I nearly jumped for joy. seeing this. I love someone who keeps it real. I fired a literary agent and co-writer for a book I want to write because they told me no one will respect me if I use curse words. They told me it tarnishes all the words on the page. How wrong they are because after reading Green Enough I confirmed once again the use of 'swear' words merely serve to get our attention and exclamation to our words. .

I love how Leah breaks things down in each chapter focusing on a different area of your home and lifestyle choices.

So many of us get caught up in the auto pilot of life and forget to really make sure we are awake and aware of what we are eating, and putting in our homes. Environmental toxins are everywhere and Leah helps to cut the barrier to entry so we can really understand just where toxins may be leaking and steps we can take. I love how the book puts things in categories for so many of our favorite things letting you know what are the worst, medium and best choices we can make. Immediately I felt empowered with my knowledge.

From room to room and in every important aspect of your life Leah inspires the reader to begin to question the status quo in an easy to read and powerful book.

The book includes recipes, how to clean your home 'green', DIY household product idea's and even goes so far as to call out companies not walking the walk. I love Green Enough for its straight forward approach to life and the drops of wisdom on day to day living mixed with approachable science.

I think Green Enough is a must have for every home and everyone. Brava Leah. You have done it again with excellent content. BAM.

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The Role of Your Past

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The Role of Your Past

I am not going to lie I live in the narrative world & after years upon years of therapy have finally been able to understand the role the past plays in my life today.

Nothing.

Now don't get your panties in a bunch & hear me out. Sure the past can often be stamped into our memory so strong we cannot seem to forget. My past was nothing short of being filled with gut wrenching hardship & truly remarkable joy. Yet neither of those define who I am.

As someone who did a TEDx on the power of culture to influence life you might think otherwise. Just as my culture has had a role in the person I am it does not define me.

I define me.

In a narrative world respect for the past is understood yet it strives to re-tell your own story. I sat many hours in a therapist office hearing how the past was responsible for my current story. I beg to differ believing that the I get to author my own story by constructing new meanings to emotions, thoughts and outcomes from the past. 

The past does not define me.

As someone living in community invited into people's homes & having the opportunity to be vulnerable with each other I hear quite often how the past is the reason for this or that. "I am this way because when I was raised..." are common responses to why things are the way they are or why growth is not happening.

As I shared in my TEDx "Cultural Collision" I think many of us choose an autopilot existence allowing for the past to become a scapegoat for all things important in tapping our miracle life.

Once I began to get conscious with the who, what & why of my life story the past became a story that I got to rewrite & not one that defined me. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) used to define me until I was able to realize the story is not written by MS it is written by me. If MS was defining me it was because that is what I allowed for.

My mother was an addict which for many years did define my life. Even in therapy all the hours spent were often talking about the role having an addicted mom played in my life outcome. I felt like I spent years in therapy talking about mom & her why which produced nothing to help me tap my best life. Instead it provided me with 'reasons' for my struggles offering zero tools to rewrite the story.

I say hogwash to that.

The narrative of my life included an addicted mom this is true however the story I tell is mine regardless of how my mothers life was defined. Her actions are her life.

My actions only define & are responsible for my life.

I personally believe that once we can start to realize we are the only creators of our story can we tap our BAM. As long as we let the actions, idea's and outcome of others share in our narrative we are going to be unable to raise the roof on our own lives.

Autopilot living which includes many cultural norms make it impossible to have a narrative that is a path to your miracle life. We each need to recognize the past as a script that we get to re-write so we can define our journey and not as the reason for our why.

Your story today is written only by you not your past.

Not going to lie this concept has been so freeing for me similar to ditching the scale & no longer counting calories all of which were cultural norms I adhered to for far to long.

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It's a Family Affair

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It's a Family Affair

Okay folks believe it or not getting conscious about food is a family affair! Do not get it twisted thinking this is only the work of one in a household especially if the one is someone using consciousness to overcome a life hurdle.

Hate to be the asshole delivering the message, but what family member or loved one would not help you achieve a goal regarding an obstacle in your life?

When deciding to get conscious especially if you live with others this MUST include discussions, changes & support from members in your household. If not, success will be either short lived or unattainable. Sorry not sorry, but this is more than true.

For some of us sadly this is our escape route. By not including others in the process it provides a great excuse for why it is hard to succeed.

If you do not clean out your pantry of crap you will not succeed and the same holds true for your house. Yes folks anyone not willing to help support your mission is exactly the same as what is toxic in your pantry from this lens. This also has held true based on 1st hand coaching, working & supporting members of the community of conscious eaters.

Getting conscious about food is not a diet it is a lifestyle change. In order to change ones lifestyle for success the entire family needs to support this. Especially if the choices are focused on improving a health outcome.

What does it say about loved ones if they are not willing to support this journey?

What does it say about us when you don't include them in the why, how and the entire thought process around this decision?

For those who depend on others to prepare the foods needed to get conscious this question is even larger and more important to answer. If you are living with others who choose not to provide, support and work together with you to live your best life I would ask is that part of my health problem?

It blows my mind to see it time and again a fellow brother or sister unable to care for themselves & family members or loved ones who refuse to support diet & lifestyle changes for themselves or those in need of a desire to make these changes.

How freaking cruel can someone be?

Refusing to support a loved one who is suffering is unacceptable!

Yet sadly those in need often feel like so much of a burden they silence their desires filled with hopes of changing their outcome through conscious living.

There are ways to help make this transition easier for everyone. Simple steps that are proven to make a difference & help to begin the conversation of changes needed to up the volume on life & living.

We are Family Steps:

  • Whatever lifestyle changes are desired provide family members with the data, research and/or information that supports your lifestyle changes & talk about it. Answer any questions, concerns or comments they might have.
  • Be certain of you needs holding firm to your commitment of self awareness & need for change.
  • Set a time line for committed changes to occur without error & as a collective. (It is recommended 90 days to be the best timed effort for real changes to happen for any desired outcome.)
  • Collectively clean out the pantry reading all ingredients sharing new found knowledge.
  • Make it fun, exciting & not a lens of restriction. It is a freedom of choice & lifestyle.
  • Identify what you all will miss the most & find acceptable substitutes that together everyone works to make as a new alternative.
  • Find local support groups, meetups, bloggers, podcasts and/or social media experts who are sharing a similar journey you can all learn from.

I have found myself hearing time & time again "My significant other, children, roommate does not want to make any changes so it is hard." Which I always respond with "So they are not willing to help you potentially heal enough to overcome ________ because food is more important? Even for 90 days to see if your quality of life improves?" To which the response is often silence.

Folks you need to ask, explain & define all mentioned above so those who love you can understand the power of what you are asking of them. If after all that resistance remains than I ask you what is more toxic in your life?

Loved ones who do not support, encourage & help with changes to overcome a life obstacle may be the hurdle you need to overcome.

Damn it I have done it again. Raised an eye brow or two!

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