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.

Monogamy Vs. Non-Monogamy | Social Conditioning

The hardest part of “coming out” was to acknowledge and accept that I am not monogamous to myself. I felt a lot of judgment for myself because of the stories/programming/conditioning I had around what monogamy and non-monogamy meant. Their meaning didn’t match up to my definition of self and that meant I was going to be out of integrity with myself – and for me that is like being in purgatory. I have to be right with myself first or nothing else works.

wedding ringsHere are the characteristics that came with monogamy according to my conditioning: a person who is monogamous is caring, loyal, loving, dependable, reliable, humble, trustworthy. They are able to put the needs of the many before the needs of the individual and therefore are also more generous, fair and civil minded than others. These characteristics would also manifest in every other area of their life so that a monogamous person will also have a great work ethic, contribute to society, always take care of their own family and so on and so forth.

On the other hand, I had the belief that the characteristics of a non-monogamous person: dishonest, selfish, self centered, careless, driven by lust, couldn’t care about family or bonds. They would put their own needs ahead of anyone else’s at whatever cost to the other people as long as they were satisfied. These people were not to be trusted or relied upon under any circumstances. They would suck others into their deceitful manipulative lifestyle any chance they got.

So you can see how I had a hard time accepting being non-monogamous. I did my best to practice the values of the monogamous person. A part of me was dying inside because I wasn’t being true to myself. I couldn’t reconcile the differences between how I felt inside (non-monogamous) and the kind of life I wanted to live (positive and generative). It is only through experiencing acceptance, tolerance, love and approval from others and myself that I have been able to see that these definitions have nothing to do with reality. They have to do with social norms, control, repression, and shame.

Improve Your Sex Life part 1

Give Your Sex Life A Fresh Start

sex pen n paper improve your sex lifeThe first step to improve your sex life is to acknowledge what has already happened.  This is the hard work that many of us try to avoid.

Taking stock of the current state of affairs and the past can be very helpful.  It can also be harmful.

Try the following two exercises:(tip: read all the suggestions first before starting)

  1. Get into your body.  Breath deeply and notice how you feel in the moment.
  2. With a pen and paper make a list of all the things that aren’t the way you want them to be in your sex life.  Acknowledge them.  Contrast brings clarity but only if you see it.
  3. Notice your physical sensations.  Notice when things feel bad in your body.  Avoid being too hard on yourself and dwelling in the negative.
  4. Be as objective as possible.  You are noticing and acknowledging, not judging.
  5. Release the negative feelings you have tied to these things.  The best way to do this is to take personal responsibility for your experience.  That gives you the power to change your future experiences.  If someone else seems to be to blame take a deep breath and look at how you might have put yourself in the position to be hurt.

Once you have completed the above exercise pause, breath, and move on to the next exercise.

It’s time to look at the positives.

  1. Make sure you’re in your body.
  2. Again with the pen and paper – write down all the things that are good/positive/going the way you want.
  3. Make this list as long as your first list and then add 5 more things.

This exercise will help you to develop an attitude of gratitude and will help you to operate on a higher vibration making it easier to attract and manifest those things that bring you pleasure.

Find someone to share these lists with.  If you can’t find someone you are welcome to send them to me.  Why?  Because being witnessed is the best way to release shame.  Chances are you have some shame around the things that didn’t go well.  By sharing them and putting the light of day on them their power diminishes.  You may also get great feedback that can aid in acknowledging and releasing the negativity!

It’s Okay To Have What You Want

make a list of what you would be, do and have if time and money were no objectIt’s okay to have what you want.  Few people operate like this.  Usually, we feel like we have to justify and rationalize what we want.  We have some sort of belief that we are only allowed so much of what we want.  Don’t think this is true for you?  Try this exercise:

Make a list of what would you be, do and have if time and money were not a factor.  Then, go through that list and for each thing you don’t have list your reason (or excuse) for not having it.  List everything.  The deeper you go the more you will recognize the limiting beliefs you have about why you don’t have what you want.

Make sure to include things you want when it comes to your sex and sexuality.

Notice – how many things are you not allowing yourself to have because someone else wouldn’t like it?  Or you are worried about what others will think of you?  Or you are worried about the responsibility that will come with having what you want?

big boobiesSomething I’ve always wanted were bigger breasts.  Now, this was not a need – I had a C cup.  But it was a want.  I’m a boob woman and I love big boobs.  But for several reasons I never allowed myself to get what I wanted.  I was afraid to spend the money, to have the surgery, and what other people would think of me.  I finally got honest with myself that I did want them and I could have them and the the only thing holding me back from doing it was me.  Once I got out of my own way why couldn’t I move forward?  So that’s whay I did!  On Wenesday I got a breast augmentation.  Although I’m still healing (it’s only been 2 days) I am happy I have big boobies!  And they are big – I went to a DD+!  I’m so excited and look forward to sending out pictures soon.

This is just the latest in the things I have allowed myself to have.  It is a mental muscle that I have been working on for awhile.  The thing is, when stepping into that space of allowing yourself to have what you want you do need to be sure of yourself – so sure that when criticism or negativity come your way you are able to accept it for what it is and not allow it to alter your decision.  And, the real trick is to do this with love and tolerance.

Pick one thing from your list that you would be, do or have and allow yourself to have it.  If you don’t know how it’s going to come, that’s okay.  Sometimes the universe has creative ways of bringing things to us.  Just being open to it and creating space for it will start the process of manifesting it in your life.