I’m a Sex Coach, Not a Sex Worker

As of late, I have been under a bit of scrutiny from several people about my sex coaching business, everywhere from friends to family to other colleagues who all have misconstrued beliefs about what sex coaches do. Honestly, I am not shocked because the truth is that sex coaching is fairly new in mainstream consciousness. If you met ten sex coaches, they would also all have a slightly different way of coaching and different elements that are included in this coaching. Even in my local area, I can think of several sex coaches, and every single one of us approaches coaching in a different manner. Some use more direct talking methods, some incorporate more spiritual practices, some use more straight education, and others are more experiential. This is on top of the fact that sex is still a taboo topic in our society, so it’s no wonder that I get both horrified and intrigued looks when I share with others the career I am so passionate about.

There’s a vast variety of questions and assumptions that people have when hearing that myself and my fellow colleagues are sex coaches. That being said, the one that comes up the most is, “Are you a prostitute? So you have sex with your clients?”

I do not have sex with my clients. Again, I do not have sex with my clients! And one more time since people struggle to hear this one, I DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH MY CLIENTS! I have zero judgments against individuals who choose to make a living via prostitution. In my life, I have known several women who have been sex workers to survive and, unfortunately, were forced to do so illegally due to our current laws. It makes me very happy to see places like Vegas that are trying to take the oldest career known to man and make it safer for both the client and the sex worker. Sex is a normal and natural pleasure afforded to us as humans that keeps us healthy and vibrant. It’s not my place to say if someone needs or desires to pay someone to have these needs met because, honestly, not everyone is lucky enough to have a committed partner. I believe in sex work when done in a safe and consensual manner.

That being said, I am not a prostitute. All the sex coaches I know (and I know quite a few) and I have the policy that they do not have intercourse or perform or receive oral sex from clients. I have written that on my website in several places and tell clients when I first meet them that although I am helping people with sex, this does not mean I am having sex with them. Yet, it is a question I get asked almost weekly. And it is actually one that has provided my colleagues and me with some funny stories.

One day, I was doing an initial Tantric mindfulness session—which includes some meditation, breathing, and Kundalini activation—with a brand new client. My sex coaching practice was somewhat new, and as he felt his sexual energy activate, he opened his eyes, looked right at me, and said, “I’ve decided that I want to practice having Tantric sex, and you love Tantric sex, and so you’re going to have Tantric sex with me next time.” I lifted one eyebrow and reminded him of all the different times we had discussed boundaries and how sex is not a part of sex coaching. He became desperate and began gyrating his hips to “show me” how good he would be at this practice. I worked incredibly hard at not bursting into hysterics at that moment, and once I had composed myself, I set some limits with him, and unfortunately, he chose not to have any more sessions with me after that initial session. It is definitely a story that I will always remember and one that has provided me with vital learning lessons—no matter how much I state what I DON’T do, there will always be people that don’t want to hear it.

Different practitioners have different boundaries surrounding the level of touch, if any, and also the nature of what happens in sessions. But unless it is specifically stated that we are offering sexual surrogacy, then they most likely are not offering to have sex with their clients. And honestly, even many sex surrogates don’t actually have intercourse with clients.

That being said, am I going to try to help stir some sexual energy? Yes! Our sexual energy (Kundalini energy) is what keeps us alive, what you tap into during many yoga practices, and what gives us as humans much of our drive. I view our sexual energy as a major tool in manifesting the lives we want, as the spiritual connection we are looking for, and as a way to take the connection within ourselves and in relationships to a deeper place. However, this energy can be stirred simply by breathing! I, personally, am not just a sex coach but actually first and foremost a Tantric practitioner who utilizes these principles in my practice. This still does not mean I am having sex with my clients!

In our society, and especially in the Bible belt, many practices are shunned without a true and honest understanding. People allow their ignorance to speak first without asking questions. Just like sex coaching is not as it appears, neither is the practice of Tantra, which is not solely about sex but instead about weaving our energy throughout life. The aspects that are sexual are about bringing greater awareness and honor into our sex lives and using this awareness to bring us closer to our spiritual source, ourselves, and our partners. I know having honor and true worship during sex is a foreign concept to many in the Western world, where porn, objectification, and hookup culture are rampant, but this is the true nature of Tantra and what I teach in my sex coaching practice. So I view the use of Tantra as important in not only my sex coaching but also coaching of any kind because, at the end of the day, most humans desire more fulfilling and happier lives.

As a sex coach, I want you to be able to dig deeper into your own feelings, thoughts, and beliefs surrounding sex. I want you to learn to connect with your own body and your partner’s body in new and exciting ways. I want you to experience energy in sessions that is orgasmic … but not necessarily have what is typically seen as orgasm/climax in session.

So if I’m not having sex with you, then what am I doing?

I’m holding a space for you to talk about your shame, your desires, your sexual difficulties. I’m helping you reawaken your energy and passion while creating the life you have always dreamed of having. I am educating you on chakras, your genitals, your partner’s genitals, breathing, orgasm, and basically anything you can think of in regards to sex. I am helping you feel more into your body and recognize that your sexual energy, when used throughout your life, will provide you with a new level of energy and vitality and the ability to attack your life.

Honestly, yes, there will be dildos, “pussy pillows,” lube, and other sex toys for demonstrations, so if this offends you, then I suggest you not come into my office. There will most definitely be words used that may make you blush and conversations that make you squirm a little, and that’s okay. I’m not here to have sex with you, but I am here to reintroduce you to your sex.

My work is done mostly with your brain, your heart, and your soul, not your genitals!

To work with Addison and learn more about her practice… FILL OUT AN APPLICATION!

How I Lost 25lbs and Gained Sexual Empowerment Through Tantra

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From the time I was 10 years-old until I was in my twenties, I fought a bloody battle with my own body, which manifested as anorexia and bulimia. I spent 15 years in what can only be described as a hell of my own body but more than anything, a place where I was a prisoner of my own mind. I was blessed, however, to get help and eventually fully recover. I learned to come to a place of peace with my body and formed an essence of neutrality. I no longer put effort into trying to lose weight because I knew this was a slippery slop to relapse. Through the years of recovery it became apparent that I needed to work on my past sexual trauma that was keeping me stuck in not only a war against my body but in many areas of my life, especially my sexuality. I would later learn that most individuals with eating disorders also have some difficulties with their sexuality in some form or fashion. I went to therapy religiously and pushed myself to open up internal boxes that I had bolted shut. The deeper I dug the more disgusted I found for my sexuality and the more my body shut down physically.

I found myself fully recovered from my eating disorder but still struggling with my body in terms of my sexuality, and simply talking about it wasn’t fixing the physical problems that had developed. No matter how many times I sat in therapy sessions my therapist wasn’t able to help me make penetration hurt any less, nor was my doctor even able to help for that matter. Nor were they able to take away the extreme panic, the flashbacks, or the nausea I would have when a date became more sensual. So, I decided it was time to seek out another way to work through my problems surrounding sexuality. I had heard about practitioners that did hands on work and so I began Googling until I came across what would later become my Tantric Sex Coach. It took almost a year before I actually met her and agreed to do the work that was necessary for my own healing.

When I began seeing her I was completely frozen in my body, had very little body awareness, reported zero sexual desire, and although I was not overweight I held an extra 25lbs on my petite frame as a protective shield. I exercised and ate a generally balanced diet, and at the time I was at what clinicians called my “ideal body weight.” Session after session I dug into my beliefs surrounding sex, my desires, and my body and began peeling away layers of distorted beliefs. Then we began moving on to more experiential tantric sessions where I began discovering an energy in my body that I had never noticed. I began feeling the beginnings of arousal and desire and started to feel my entire body for the first time since I was a child. My physical body began to relax through tantric practices of breathing, relaxing, and being mindful of my “Kundalini” (sexual) energy.

The first time I had sex after beginning to study and integrate Tantra, I found that I was able to relax enough that I wasn’t screaming in pain, whereas in the months prior, inserting a tampon was painful. The other thing I began noticing, was that as I peeled away negative belief systems through the experiential processes, my body began unfolding as well. All of a sudden my waist began to become more slender, my hips took on a different curve, and my face went from being rounded to thin and elongated. I was in my late twenties but my body started changing in ways that I can only compare to puberty!

From my years of working in mental health, my degree in psychology, and training in Bioenergetics I knew that oftentimes our physical bodies are representations of the lives we have lived. (For more information see “The Body Keeps Score”). This mental knowledge began to play out right in front of me when I looked in the mirror, and it took me by surprise.

As I stated earlier, I did not believe in dieting and I was not attempting to lose weight but clothes that were once tight became loose and then began falling off . The more Tantra got me in touch with my body the more I was able to tune in and listen to what it desired in regards to food and exercise. I was able to savor every morsel of chocolate instead of eating a whole candy bar and not enjoying its taste. I was able to crave fruits and vegetables and the energy they provided my body. I did not eat them just because they were “healthy.” I ate fruits and vegetables because they were what my body wanted. The feelings I had of disgust at my body and sexuality, that used to induce nausea, was no longer present.

I began enjoying the movements of my body more, because for once, I felt really good and was literally not lugging around pounds of trauma. Sex was fun and lasted longer and longer because I was enjoying the dance and movement of the intimacy. I began having orgasms that shook my whole body for hours. I would leave one of my lovers, and my stomach muscles would still be rippling from the energy of the previous sex session. I would awake the next morning feeling like I had spent 2 hours at the gym. For the first time in my life I would walk, dance, or engage in other movements just because it brought me pleasure.

I began to love my body more for whatever it looked like through the practice of tantra. Tantra translates as “weave” and this is what I started to do with my sexuality and my body. A big piece of tantra is learning to honor, and one of the things we honor is the inner “God/Goddess” in everyone. So I began taping into that divinity of my own spirit. I developed new belief systems surrounding why I was here on this earth and in this physical body. I found a beauty within that made me want to take care of my myself as a whole. I started to understand that our thoughts manifest our world; for example, if you focus on being “fat,” that is exactly what your reality becomes.

I find it amazing that, as soon as I truly “let myself go” my body took on the shape that I had literally almost killed myself for only years prior! With the help of Tantra I have found a fun and orgasmic sex life but also a true connection with my body.

Now as a Sex/Relationship Coach & Tantric Practitioner, I feel blessed to be able to help people gain the same benefits that I had received when I got into Tantra. I revel in the changes I see physically and energetically in clients as they begin to do this work. It is extraordinary to see people release things that have clung to their spirits like mud. I feel incredibly honored to be able to walk through pain, tears, shame, nightmares and joy with my clients the way that some outstanding people have done for me.

So although I will NEVER give dieting advice, here is a review of some elements that you can include in your life to help you find a body and life closer to what you desire:

  • Stop focusing on your weight in a negative way! The more you focus on how unhappy you are with your body the more you will tell the Universe that this is the body you want. If you think you’re fat you will be fat! Instead focus on aspects about your life and body that you enjoy.
  • Become more mindful of your body in diet and exercise. When you are eating, make sure you are focusing more on the taste of the food and the energy it gives off. When you are exercising, focus on how your body is enjoying the movement. Don’t deprive your body from foods that it really wants. If you want chocolate, then eat it – but eat it mindfully.
  • Have more SEX! There are many health benefits of good sex, but one of them is weight loss and toning. This will only work if you are having deep, connective sex, otherwise you will not be releasing the correct chemicals into your brain, and your orgasms won’t be deep enough to give you the full benefit. This goes for men and women.
  • Start working with a Tantric practitioner to release stored traumas from your body. When we are carrying around negative energy we are simply not able to live our best lives. Studies have shown that we can also physically carry these traumas through fat stores, cancers and other physical representations.

Reach out to Addison Bell, Sex & Relationship Coach and Tantric Practitioner, TODAY to find help in creating a better life and body for yourself!

www.addisonbell.net/contact

Letting Men Lead

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Scenario 1: We have just come out from an extraordinary concert that has my heart dancing from the beautiful music. As we walk down the sidewalk, he grasps my shoulders and pushes me to the right, and I get jokingly scolded as he explains that he needs to be between me and traffic. In this moment, he wants to be my protector.

 Scenario 2: I patiently sit and wait for him to come around to my side of the car and open the door. I have to take a second to breathe past my conditioning of doing things for myself and just allow. He opens the door, I place my hand in his, and he gives me a gentle kiss before guiding me to our destination as I thank him for his thoughtfulness.

 Scenario 3: We are lying on the couch and just chatting as he shows me some interesting pictures and videos on social media. The conversation turns slightly sexy, and there is definitely a sexual tension in the room, but I feel frozen and am not making any moves. Then he suddenly stands up, grasps my hand, says he wants me, and pulls me up the stairs to his bedroom where we have an evening of play.

Three different men, three different scenarios. What is similar is that in each scenario the man was leading and fully in the masculine. None of the men were pushy or aggressive; they instead were confident and self-assured in their actions. Each made a firm gesture, but I still had the choice at that moment to accept or deny. In scenario three, that lover would never have dragged me up the stairs without consent, but instead, he knew what he wanted and was direct in his approach, and his directness made me want it more. Often, when people think of the masculine they think of someone who is more aggressive, but in truth that is not what is behind the masculine. A true masculine man doesn’t have to be pushy and is in touch with his own feminine energy enough to be able to recognize when he needs to hold space for his woman. However, he does not live from his feminine energy.

Instead, he is focused and knows what he wants or at least is on a mission to find out. He owns when he has made a mistake and owns his emotional state. But at the end of the day, he is steady! This is what women that are fully in their balanced feminine energy want and need: a strong but steady masculine.

As a friend of mine says that women are like the ocean, all over the place but beautifully creative in their natural state, whereas men are like arrows, knowing exactly where they are headed and with fierce determination. This is why women are so connected physically to the earth and the moon. We flow in a variety of ways when we are truly allowing. Now both sexes, male and female, need some of the other to balance, but too much of the opposite and relationships and physical and emotional health begin to suffer.

WOMEN:

I can already hear all my feminist women out there cringing at the above words!

I spent a big part of my younger years in staunch feminist mode, but the truth is I was missing a part of me. I was missing my core and guiding energy because I was too much in my masculine of “work, do, focus” when I was needing more flow and creativity to fill my spirit. This lack of flow was eating me alive, and I see it eating many of my female clients alive as well. Their hormones are out of whack. They are on handfuls of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, are fighting with their partners, and are physically drained of all energy. They are simple shells of what they were meant to be. Stepping back into your feminine does not take away from your rights or worth as a female. Instead, it makes you stand fully in your power as a female in your natural state. It is you not changing yourself to better fit in with the masculine but instead being your beautiful feminine self and embracing it!

Allowing a man to lead is not always easy. It takes pushing against our societal conditioning that says we should not “need” help from anyone else and should be independent. The truth is I do not NEED a man to open my door for me. I have two perfectly fine hands that know just how to open a door, but I WANT my lovers to take the time to honor me with these little gestures. Like in Scenario 2, sometimes it takes me actively breathing into these moments and learning to receive fully if I’m entirely truthful (something that I’m continually working on). However, in return for receiving these little gifts of honoring from my men, I also try to take the time to honor them as well and let them know they are appreciated. We learn from each other, and every time I am with them, they teach me a little bit more about myself and my femininity.

MEN:

MAN UP!

I know that sounds really harsh, but let me explain. I am not saying become aggressive or cut yourself off from your emotions. Instead, I am saying to step into confidence and step into the energy of leading. Show your woman that she matters to you and that you are there to support her, not by being one of her girl friends, (hopefully she already has some of those) but instead by being her stable and grounding force. By stepping into your masculine, you allow your partner the safety to let go and become that sexy feminine force you fantasize about. You want a woman fully orgasmic and participating in amazing, mind-blowing sex? Then be the stable point that allows her to get out of her head and submit to her desires. This also will help you maintain your health as well because with too much feminine energy, a man’s libido drops and his physical and emotional health decreases. When a man stands fully in his masculine, he begins to have more success at work, dating, and relationships, gets more accomplished during the day, and has a higher sex drive.

In Scenario 3, I talk about a lover literally leading me to bed, not forcing me but simply leading with a small tug and a sly smile. A few months after this event, I had an experience where a lover was NOT leading, and so I was both trying to be in my masculine “plotting and planning” while also getting into my feminine and dropping into my body to allow my orgasmic energy. What happened was many missteps and hurt feelings. He was not leading, and I was too much in my own masculine energy. We could have had many moments of mind-blowing sex but instead ended up unfulfilled and feeling unbalanced in the relationship. The night could have been entirely different if he had stepped into his masculine, had been more direct and steady, and had used that drop of feminine energy to tune into the fact that I was having an internal process and needed him to lead. The same goes if I had been fully in my feminine, listened to my desires, and then used that drop of masculine energy to approach what my feminine was wanting.

This does not mean women do not need to take responsibility for their own pleasure and desires. I actually think the contrary. It’s important that the man does not always feel he is pushing the woman to have sex and is always the initiator. Women are taught not to ask for what we want, and so stepping fully into our sexuality and fear of asking for what we want is vital to our growth. So for example in Scenario 3, I should have stepped into my desire in that moment and owned how I was feeling turned on.

This also does not mean that a man shouldn’t be in the receptive mode either; it simply means in daily comings and goings the man should be in his masculine and the female in her feminine to make a harmonious balance.

WOMEN—Learn to drop into your feminine and receive while taking responsibility for your sexing.

MEN—Lead and hold space for your woman so you can teach each other. Learn to find your stability for your life in your masculine.

LEARN MORE TODAY ABOUT HOW TO STEP INTO YOUR MASCULINE/FEMININE ENERGY www.addisonbell.net/contact

Beauty of the Double Goddess Session


I love doing a good bodywork session. I find the process beautiful and spiritual as I see my clients grow and relax into their own divine natures. Although I love all my bodywork sessions, I have a special place in my heart for those sessions where I get to share the energy with a fellow Tantric Goddess!

I recently had the opportunity to do some joint sessions with my colleague and mentor, Kendal Williams. There is an amazing energy that is created in a Double Goddess session where two women are able to create a truly memorable experience for their God. Each session is different in the way the session progresses, the depth of the session, and the energy that culminates. The beauty of these sessions is that just like unique gems each Tantric Goddess brings a different and special personal energy into the session. It’s even more special when those two Goddesses have a prior connection and so are able to synchronize their movements and add complimentary energy. Here is a short peek into one of these sessions that I hold so dear in my heart…

The session began by my fellow Goddess and mentor inviting our client into the room with a warm and genuine hug. I could tell there was caring energy already between practitioner and client, which put my heart at ease. We all spent a few minutes talking about life, weather, and Tantra. Then the gorgeous session began. We all began grounding and breathing. As we touched our God’s heart chakra, I could feel energy moving up my body, merging with Kendal’s energy and mixing with the energy from our God’s heart chakra as it opened. As I moved my hands up his spine, I could already feel his Kundalini energy rising. We asked permission to remove his garments in a manner of worship and prepared him for what would be a glorious session.

The energy in the room rose as we began to synchronize our movements on our gentleman. I could not only feel his energy but could feel the other Goddesses’ energy and it was as if a symphony of souls was taking place in that moment… His masculine strong energy, with my feminine energy, mixed with her powerful but feminine energy. I look at this very special and beautiful soul under my hands and feel his vibration rising under my strokes. Then I look across this man’s body to Kendal and see almost a glow of light around this woman as she is in a state of honoring of the same soul.

It is a beautiful dance as a chorus of energies collide. I hear a breath of ecstasy escape our God’s lips as he experiences an energetic orgasm that goes on for several minutes under our soft focus. As we begin to slow our strokes down and send loving, grounding energy into our God, I feel like crying for the beauty of the moment. I complete the bodywork with connecting third eye to third eye. Kendal steps out to get us all water as we all reenter this Universe. As we walk our God out of his session, I am overwhelmed with a sensation of gratitude to be able to share another one of these beautiful sessions with my colleague and mentor, as well as with a tantalizing masculine as he grows and expands.

Yes, these sessions are for the client but the beauty created in these moments fills my soul and pushes me to grow a little further each time I share one of these experiences. I feel blessed and more connected to my own body, to my spirit, and to those who walk into these sessions with me. This is how I am living my “Fuck Yes!” life!

*Please note that these sessions are not offered through Addison Bell. In order to reach out to fellow practitioner Kendal Williams please visit her website: http://www.tantrictransformation.com

For information regarding Tantra or Coaching sessions reach out to www.addisonbell.net/contact

Sexual Drought!

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I lay there and have a strong desire to be held in that moment. To be held and kissed, and penetrated on a multitude of levels. It’s funny because a piece of me WANTS sex in that moment and then another piece is stuck in a sense of ambivalence about the whole thing. As I ponder, I think about how things have changed so quickly for me in the sex department. Guy A just wasn’t a fit even though he was really nice, but I’m not one to string people along if the chemistry is not there. Guy B and I aren’t really speaking at the moment and we both need a breather. Guy C is simply going to be labeled an asshole in my book from here on out. And my negative mood and complete absence of sexual desire for a week or so sent Guy D packing for the hills. So I think, “Well, this royally sucks. I am officially in drought territory!”

We’ve all been there. Where we are wanting to connect intimately and sexually with another human but for some reason our options are limited. Now, I will say that often these “options” are self-limited because we have standards for who, when, and in what manner we have sex. For myself, I am very careful with who I choose to have sex with because I know that this person is going to become part of me from there on out. Then there are also the times when you mentally want to have sex but your body is not on board. In times of stress it is harder for us as humans, and especially women, to become aroused and open to engaging in sex. So you could desire it mentally but your body may not respond to these thoughts and efforts. These and many other scenarios can lead to what I call the sexual drought!

Our sexuality is attached to our creativity and our mental and also physical well-being. When we are not engaging in sex, we can sometimes notice deficits in other areas of our lives. That being said, I don’t necessarily think a sexual drought is a bad thing, if managed correctly and is only for a short period of time.

My belief is that this time gives one the ability to reflect on where they are with their sexuality, what they need, what they may look forward to trying in the future, and simply to re-evaluate the types of sexual relationships they want to engage in. This can also be a great time to check in with yourself on how you are treating yourself sexually. Are you simply having sex for the sake of having sex? Are you taking the time to connect with your own body? And are you honoring your body in sexual relationships with others? This is a great time to reintegrate with yourself.

So how do we manage this drought period and come out better for it? Here are a few tips:

Touch yourself: During this drought period it is important that you maintain a sense of your own body. This can be as simple as taking the time to spread lotion on every area of your body and really tune in to all the sensations you are experiencing in that moment. Really sink in to your own touch. This also goes for taking the time to masturbate. This does not mean pull out the porn and lose all track of your own body. This means take the time to really FEEL your body – to feel how it is to be touched in different areas and focus on energy going from the bottom of your spine up to the top of your head. Feel as your Kundalini energy rises and build it up to a point where you can circulate it through your body. This type of self-touch will keep you from losing touch with yourself when not having sex. It will keep your brain chemicals in an open and creative space and keep your mood at a higher vibration.

Let others touch you: There is no reason for you to be devoid of touch completely. This is when you find other alternatives for touch than sex. If you plan on seeing a friend, then ask for a hug. It’s probably easier for women, but go ahead, step out of your comfort zone, and admit to someone that you need a heart-connected hug. If you know any children, then ask them for a hug (in a non-creepy way). I know frequently if I am in need of a hug I will ask my young nephews and they are totally willing to “bear hug” Aunt Addison! Children’s love can be so pure that sometimes this is exactly the type of energy you need. If those two ideas do not work, then reach out to a massage therapist and get some good focused attention. One of the best ways to keep your sexual energy up is to get a tantric bodywork session with myself or another practitioner. This allows for not only touch, but touch that stimulates sexual energy through practices we can help teach..

Keep your passions: Anything that keeps you engaged and passionate about life will also keep your sexual energy and overall passion alive. When we are focused on lack, then that is exactly what gets called into our lives. So if you are taking the time to engage in things you love and enjoy, then you are calling in just the right energy for a fun and playful sexual relationship.

Give yourself meditative time: This does not necessarily mean to sit cross-legged on the floor in silence for hours at a time. What I mean by meditative time is to take the time to breathe and really think about what you want out of your next sexual relationship. Think about where you are headed in your life and what your current desires are overall. Spend time manifesting that next wonderful sexual relationship.

For more tips and ideas to getting your sexual life back on track TODAY… book an appointment HERE.

Balancing Gratitude & Pain

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I am sitting in my car in rush hour traffic when I feel it happen. I am listening to music and a song that always touches my heart comes on over the speakers, and I just feel tears start rolling down my cheeks. I am thankful that I’m in traffic and not really moving because the tears come faster and overtake my vision. The tears are a release of sadness, anger, hope, and disappointment; they are also releasing of energy that was never mine to begin with, energy that I picked up throughout the day. I let the tears roll down my face, leaving glistening wet stripes covering my cheeks and a puddle of collected tears on my shirt. I don’t try to brush them away. All of a sudden a feeling of frustration with myself overcomes me because although I am experiencing all these emotions, I am also feeling very grateful for my life. I have had some amazing sessions this week, had some heartfelt moments, great sex, and a list of about a million other little blessings that transpired over the week.

My ego jumps in and tells me that I am ungrateful because I am upset in the moment and am mentally venting sadness and frustration. I find myself in a dance of gratitude and pain, and I’m struggling to integrate the two seemingly opposing emotions.

Thankfully, I soon get to where I am going and check my Facebook page and low and behold, my friend and colleague, Kendal Williams reposted an article she had written “Are You Okay” with a recent post from sex educator Pamela Madsen:

“This is what I know for sure. It is not useful to hide pain, trauma, heartbreak, grief. It’s not useful to pretend that something terrible hasn’t happened. Acknowledging that something bad has happened to you is healing. How I handle a stressful event may be different than you. What is small to you or not traumatic for you could be traumatic for me. We all handle difficult and stressful events differently. It’s so important for us to create the space for us to feel. Fuck the “How are you” inquiry if you are just going to walk by. Inquire in a real way. It’s so healing for people to be listened too, and tell “their experience” of the heartbreak, the trauma, the terrible thing. This is how people let go of trauma. We have become a society of people that don’t really want to acknowledge pain, or that they need help or acknowledge stress. Instead we “medicate”. We “Numb”. Pick your numbing poison. We don’t teach staying with discomfort. We have kids who don’t want relationships because they don’t want to catch “the feels”. How we behave towards each other around stressful events creates the environmental that sets our biology and whether we go into stress reactions or resilience. It’s amazing how when you allow yourself to FEEL deeply into your body; and speak the pain (whatever it is) you will be able to let go of trauma and drama. When we are supported to do this — do your own grief work and move through that fabulous pile of crap — its amazing what can open up. #DoNotBuryTrauma “

Please check out the work of both these fabulous women, as they are more than a little insightful in many areas. But what I took away from these posts in that moment (because both posts have several lessons) is that pain cannot be hidden. If we try to hide our pain and push it aside then we are doing deep harm to ourselves mentally and physically. Also, it has been demonstrated that when we push aside the pain of others, the same concept remains true.

So how does Gratitude fit into all of this? Can we be both angry/upset/sad and still remain grateful? Many would disagree with me, but YES, I believe we can. At the end of the day, I am human, and although I have gained the ability to keep my Ego more in check and to be more of an observer, the fact is that I still have feelings, and that is okay. Just because something creates an emotional response or I need a few minutes to let my Ego run wild and release that energy does not take away my gratitude for the situation or my life.
I’ll give you an example. When I was driving, one of the things I was upset over was something a lover had said to me the previous day that poked into some very tender emotional spots. I was angry that my lover aggravated these seemingly tender spots but I was also upset that this person wanted to poke uninvited into this area of emotional struggle. So I was angry, but really I was sad, hurt, and very much confused. However, at the same time I was grateful because I knew that this was an opportunity for growth. A chance for me to practice boundaries, to work on figuring out why that tender spot is tender, and to grow. All of this was true simultaneously.

It is easy to dumb ourselves down as humans and try to focus only on the positive. But in truth, we rob ourselves of a deep and meaningful experience if we also do not let in the dark. Dr. Brene Brown, a shame researcher and author of several wonderful books including “Daring Greatly,” presents the idea that “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” In her books, she also goes on to explain that when we numb any part of ourselves, including our darkness, we also end up cutting off other parts of ourselves such as our joy, happiness, and light.
I am a huge proponent of gratitude practices, and I believe EVERY person on this earth has things to be grateful for in their lives, even if the only thing is that they are alive…. but in all truth, most people have a list that could wrap around the earth. I am constantly asking my clients to engage in gratitude practices, because when we are able to acknowledge the joy and blessings in our lives, we are able to manifest more of that in our world. However, this should not and does not negate the pain and struggles that face people every day. If anything, I have realized lately that truly some of the most beautiful people have to go through some very intense pain to keep moving forward and growing as humans.

I have a poster on one of the walls in my house that is simply for daily gratitudes. If I went up and really took some time reading that poster, many of my gratitudes have looked something like “I am grateful for this struggle because it is making me grow,” “I am grateful for that lesson because I won’t make the same mistake,” etc. Many of our worst moments lead to our greatest growth and eventually to our best moments.

All this to say that it is important to embrace your pain as a human being. We all have pain and struggle – that is a human experience. Don’t hide it and don’t pretend its not there, because it’s real and it’s authentic. Though of course, it’s also important to remember to focus in on all the amazing things that are present in our lives each and every day.

Namasté

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