Living With Integrity

alternative life coach, polyamorous life coach, sex positive life coachOne of the major drivers in my life is integrity; Specifically integrity with myself. For me, integrity encompasses self-reflection, self-honesty, and humility. I’m writing about it because I have come to realize I’ve gotten out of integrity with myself. I’ve changed and grown. However, I’m still acting on old decisions and plans. I figured this out because of deep self-reflection and introspection. I’ve had to ask in many different ways questions like “what’s wrong,” “what do I REALLY want,” “what am I ok with,” “how much risk am I willing to take,” etc. I’ve also had to do somatic work, feeling different sensations in my body, asking what they are trying to tell me. I’ve also done some shadow integration work. I can feel I’ve barely scratched the surface with these last two.

Why am I doing all this work? Because of my health and my pleasure (or lack of it) in my body. I started on a journey to get healthy in January of 2018. In October of 2017, I was told by a doctor that I would be looking at getting a hip transplant soon, and there was no other choice besides pain management. I was devastated as I was only 38 at the time.

Since then, I’ve faced other significant life challenges, one being the possibility of going to prison. That gave me a whole additional layer of motivation to get healthy as I could not walk up a flight of stairs, and I feared for my safety if I was going to have to go to prison.

I’ve done so well in the last 20 months (right now its November 2019) – lost 55 lbs, gained mobility and strength, kept my business running, stayed connected with my immediate family and friends. The thing is, now that the worst seems to be behind me, I am still struggling with motivation and inspiration. That has made me turn to assess what I am doing in my life to see if I’m still in alignment with all of it. Some of it yes, some of it, no, and some of it partially. Yes, I’m entirely grateful not to be facing the possibility of going to prison or having to live in a wheelchair. And somehow, that is not enough. I know that I’ve experienced genuine excitement and high energy in my life, and I want it back. That is why I’m sharing this now.

I’m creating something new. I’m not even sure what it will look like, but this is my first swing at it. I’m letting go of what is not bringing me joy at all and working toward only doing what feels truly good.

One of the definitions of integrity is the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction. When I operate my life with integrity, I benefit from the feeling of being unified internally. When you make choices that maintain your personal structure, you don’t have to deal with the inner conflict, dissonance, and turmoil that could ultimately tear you apart.

Another definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, i.e., moral uprightness. Figuring out what is correct, righteous, and ethical for you is where self-reflection and introspection come in to play. How are you going to know if what you are doing is right for you if you do not stop and ask yourself? This level of honesty does take lots of courage, as you might find you have changed. You may have made decisions that once were in alignment, but now you have changed, and you have to make a new decision. Getting back into alignment might mean you have to undo things in your life. Undoing and restructuring will affect you for sure and might affect others. Many people (and me for a long time) avoid looking at things to avoid having to make these changes. We are too afraid. Too chicken. And too lazy.

Are you the type of person that when you find a problem you want to fix it? Does living dishonestly suck the life out of you? Then you are a lot like me. Changing will mean work and possibly accepting humility as there is a part of you that identifies with your previous decisions and commitments. That part of you is going to resist change at all costs.   That part of you will not want to die or be re-defined. It’s happy precisely the way it is and will do all kinds of dirty mental and physiological tricks to stay alive. But you are not your ego. You will never know unless you slow down and take a look.

If you feel like you are out of integrity and you have suspicions that you might need to make decisions, but you don’t know where to start or how to navigate the process, let me know if you would like some help. I’ve gone through this process before, and I’ve helped others through the years. Sometimes having a guide, cheerleader, or accountability partner makes all the difference.

Gratitude For Your Sex

Do You Have Gratitude For Your Sex?

root chakraThe World English Dictionary defines gratitude as “a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for a gift or favors”.

Yes, gratitude is a feeling, but in my understanding it is so much more.  Gratitude can be an action and an attitude as well.  Now apply this to your sex.  Take a moment, a deep breath, and check in with your gut and your genitals.  When I do this I feel a sense of expansion in my pelvic region.

What do you feel? 

ball and chain of shameNow, reflect on your attitude toward your sex.  I have felt different ways about my sex at different times in my life.  Now is a time for noticing and not judging.  For most of my life and even sometimes nowadays I have not been grateful for my sex.  My desires don’t fit with what I’ve been trained to believe is good and acceptable.  There have been times that my appetite for sex and variety made me feel ashamed.  I’ve gotten very frustrated with myself for not being “normal”.  I’ve resented myself for a seeming inability to be satisfied with “normal”.  I’ve ignored my sex and tried to forget about it so I could be more “normal”.  I’ve settled for lackluster experiences so I wouldn’t hurt my partner.  I’ve compromised what was true for me so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the sometimes hard work of getting what I really want.  I’ve felt ashamed for using my sex to manipulate people.  I’ve been self conscious of the way my pussy looked or smelled and of how close it was to my anal area.

How has your attitude toward your sex and sexuality been? 

sex on the brainThink about your actions toward your sex.  My actions have not always shown my gratitude for my sex.  I’ve masturbated hard, even violently, to get it over and done with.  I’ve accepted touch from lovers that didn’t feel good – sometimes even hurt – and done nothing about it.

What have your actions toward your sex been?

5 Ways To Develop Gratitude For Your Sex

My path has been more extreme than some so I will share some of the principles and steps that I have integrated and taken along my journey to being grateful for my sex and sexuality.

  1. Willingness to have a better experience – Without the willingness to experiment and go through the experiences I never would have moved forward with my sexuality.
  2. Developing my relationship with my Higher Power – We have our own definitions of God.  Whether you subscribe to someone else’s definition or have developed your own, find a way to make your sex and sexuality right.
  3. Self reflection – looking inside myself and finding out how I felt about things.  Then, I look at the feeling and see where it’s from – it it’s really from within me or if it is something I feel because I think I should.  Getting honest with myself about what is okay with me and what is not.
  4. Sharing with others in a conscious way – There is a difference between doing something consciously vs. unconsciously.  For much of my life I was unconscious about my sex and when I did wake up about it a little bit I would quickly push it down so I wouldn’t have to deal with it.  I didn’t know how to deal with it.  Now I know that by sharing – verbally, in writing and in person – while staying consciously aware of myself – my feelings, my actions and reactions – I love my sex more and more all the time and part of that love is feeling gratitude.
  5. Experimentation And Education – The more I know the more I know I don’t know.  The learning can go on for infinity just like the expansion of pleasure.  The two – learning and expanding pleasure – also go hand in hand.  The more you know about your sex the more you will be able to enjoy it.

 

The Naked Gratitude Project

I invite you to participate in the Naked Gratitude Project as a way to consciously share your sex and your gratitude during November.