One of my superpowers as a coach is explaining why the techniques I use work, according to the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology.
And I want to apply some of this thinking to what's going on right now.
We are living through a period of immense stress. Stress gets a bad rap today but STRESS IS ESSENTIAL because without stress, we don't grow.
Because we are under immense stress, we are in a period of HEIGHTENED NEUROPLASTICITY aka whatever we do right now will have lasting impact on our brain development.
Anyone who's dabbled in developmental psych knows that the two biggest spurts of brain development are in the first two years of life and adolescence. These two phases are also times of immense stress.
It is 100% true that we are living through a period of UNPRECEDENTED COLLECTIVE TRAUMA. But that doesn't mean we have to emerge from this period broken and disconnected.
There is another reality you can choose to adopt if you are secure in your home right now.
You know self-love is a thing you should be into, right? Most of us know that we’re supposed to love and accept ourselves but we don’t know how to do it. Is that something you were taught in school? I didn't think so. And yet, love is THE essential element that makes humans thrive.
When you deeply, truly love yourself you are in control of how you feel about yourself and nothing outside of you can change that. You are unstoppable!
Really deep self-love is about loving allll of the parts of us, the parts we’ve been taught to feel ashamed of, to bury deep down, to control and contain. It means loving and accepting the bitchy greedy lazy ugly parts of ourselves.
When we can stop fighting with, trying to change or control these parts of ourselves we’re left with so much more energy and freedom to choose how we actually want to live our lives.
When we try to fix ourselves from the perspective that there’s something fundamentally wrong...
Let's be real, the past few days have been ROUGH.
I've felt sadder and more down than I have in awhile. Shit has been hard, but today, well today is a good day.
I'm still riding the high from our first Pleasure as Medicine class that was
We dove into the neuroscience of why the embodiment and meditation practices I teach help rewire our brains for deep integration and alignment, giving you more agency and more freedom to create the live you most want.
We talked about prioritizing pleasure as a tool to rewire our habits of putting everything -- our job, partners, social lives -- before ourselves.
We talked about reclaiming our sense of worthiness and using mindfulness to enhance pleasure and create neural pathways to experience more pleasure in our daily lives.
And even better, WE PRACTICED.
We didn't just talk about this stuff. We did THE ACTUAL WORK of building our skills of interoception and deep self-love and acceptance with a guided a body scan and...
Friends, I owe you an apology.
I got a little cray with my branding and business that I overlooked y'all.
I had this idea that once I clarified my vision I could just run ads and have the people who resonate with what I'm doing find me. We'll get to the problem with that in a minute, but first lemme tell you a story.
A friend replied to an email about Pleasure as Medicine to say she loved the the course and to ask if it was open to her because in the past I had said I didn't work with friends. Actually I didn't even send that email to my mailing list, just to her and few other friends I knew would be perfect for it, but how would she know that?
When I got that email, I had two reactions, first was "Yayayay I'm SO excited she wants to join because I LITERALLY MADE THIS FOR HER!!" and the second was "Shit! I've so screwed up by making my friends think that I'm not available for them. I need to clarify that!"
See when I was first learning coaching in my master's program I was cautioned...
In our culture, we as women are taught to dim our light, to censor our expression, to play small.
We’re taught to hide our brilliance, lest we outshine our partner, our parents, or our friends.
There are a million ways we hold ourselves back from being our truest, biggest, most fully expressed selves.
And psychologically it makes sense.
Many of us hold deep deep fears in our bones, from our own traumas, from our mothers’ traumas and from the culture we live in that tells us in so many ways that a woman who shines, a woman who embodies her power and her confidence is not safe.
The women who stand out, who speak up, who don’t play small are most vulnerable and likely to be knocked down emotionally or physically.
But you are strong and brave and you’re ready to remove this patriarchal residue that’s dulling your shine.
It’s time to stop hiding and playing small. It’s time to step into your power and share your skills and gifts with the world.
I have a confession. I was not always the bold, bright leader that I strive to be today.
For several years of my twenties after my yoga teacher training I stopped getting my hair done, gave up makeup and avoided jewelry.
I donated a lot of my pretty things and basically wore organic cotton t-shirts and leggings. I even tried to stop washing my hair and "break my addiction to lip balm" (yup, google it.)
FYI Greasy hair and chapped lips is NOT a good look on me, or anyone for that matter.
I thought that to be a good person, I had to trade wearing nice things, enjoying life and watching TV for being an ascetic mindful vegetarian, or in other words, be something other than who I am.
I'm glad to report that period of my life is OFFICIALLY OVER.
Not that there's anything wrong with those things. I think we can all swing into extremes in the name of trying to improve our selves and our lives and sometimes we just need to find center.
I believe the true juice of personal development work...
What does pleasure have to do with burnout? The answer is simple: EVERYTHING!
Many of us high-achieving perfectionist types experience resistance to pleasure. We think that we have to check everything off on to do list before we deserve pleasure.
How can I possibly think about feeling good when I have so many things to do!?!
I am here to remind you that you are worthy and deserving of pleasure no matter what. But trust me, I know how hard it can be to actually remember that and truly believe it!
When you consciously choose to connect to yourself in a pleasurable way, you encode the message that you deserve to feel good. When you continue to show-up and choose pleasure, you learn to prioritize yourself over all the other things that lead us to burnout, like overachieving and over-giving. You learn to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.
But pleasure doesn’t just help prevent burnout by teaching us to prioritize ourselves, it also heals it. When you experience...
Wherever you are in the cycle of burnout right now, I hope that the steps I’m sharing today provide a sense of direction and inspire hope that you can once again feel vital, alive and lit up by life.
Today we’re getting into the second half of the six steps. These are the real deal inner work you have to do if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life feeling burnt out. If you didn’t catch the previous post in this series, here’re the first three steps:
Without further ado, let’s get into the rest of the six steps.
Step 4: Worthiness no matter what
Full-disclosure: Separating our self-worth from our productivity is real hard, especially for high-achievers. Lemme tell you why. Most of us are trained from birth that how much love, support, and praise we get is conditional on how well we achieve and perform. Our school systems, our parenting strategies and...
Last week I shared the reason why burnout hits women hardest (tl;dr patriarchy). And as I was writing out the six steps to end this cycle of burnout I realized it was A LOT.
So I decided to just share the first three steps this week and the last three next week.
Before we dive in, I want to remind you that the end-goal here is sooo much more than just not burning out. It's about recovering aliveness, joy, and energy. It's about rekindling your enthusiasm and passion for life. It's about truly living the biggest, fullest, most wholehearted life possible.
So let's get into it, shall we?
1. Reconnect to your body
The hectic pace of modern society and value we place on intellectualism and logic keeps us in our heads most of the day.
Right now, take a deep breath into your belly. How does that feel? Are you aware of sensations in your body that you weren't aware of before? If so, you were probably just stuck in your head until I reminded you to breathe!...
Women today are breaking gender norms at every turn. Women run companies and countries. Women lead organizations and steer political campaigns. Despite this freedom, women are facing burnout and chronic illness at alarmingly high rates and many feel too exhausted to truly enjoy their lives.
The current popular usage of the term burnout is broader than its original definition. According to the psychologists who first helped define the term in the 1970s and 80s, burnout means experiencing emotional exhaustion and apathy or cynicism about one’s job, combined with a decreased sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
While the term as defined here applies only to work life, humans are complex beings and I believe burnout can impact our lives outside of work, including our roles as parents and individuals. I see a lot of overlap between the definition of burnout and chronic fatigue syndrome, which impacts women at a rate 3 to 5 times higher than men. Other chronic illnesses like ...