Life Coaching – Let’s Get Motivated Together

A young, local business owner came to see me about life coaching and goal setting. He’s worked hard, tirelessly, for the last two years to build his business to where it is now, nearly able to be sustained without the owner’s daily participation. As such, my client has been able to spend the last six months taking time off and enjoying the fruits of his labor. Now, comfortable and content with his current success, he’s finding that it’s harder to get up early in the morning, easier to go out to dinner, and yet also not as satisfying spending another day on the golf course. He remembers the days when his family and friends mocked his idea to start his own company. “You’re too young,” “It’s too hard,” “What if you fail?” He was doubly motivated to prove them all wrong. Today, his parents and peers congratulate him on his achievements to the point that even he isn’t sure why he shouldn’t just take it easy for a while longer. Underneath it all, though, there’s a gnawing, passionate force of bigger and better things. What if he can train his guys to do more of the work for him, hire better canvassers and managers to keep things running when he isn’t there? What if, with his current business otherwise handled, he can branch out to other ventures, like the real estate market. He has his entire future ahead of him and it seems as bright as he is willing to make it. Yes, it’s in the distance and within reach at the same time.

If only he would take a few hours a month to plan, set goals, get clear on his desires, and then have someone tough and inspiring to keep him on track? Searching on Yelp one day, he finds some ads for Life Coaches and asks for estimates. We speak briefly on the phone and schedule a session for the following Monday – way to start the week of right with your coach by your side to make the most out of your dreams! Together, they plan three simple goals, each in a critical area of his life: more sleep, cleaner diet, and one new future-oriented work task. By the end of the day, I text him a recap of his commitments. Mid-week, I send another text to see how he’s doing and to cheer him on.

The following Monday, when he’s back in my office, his disposition is cheerful, and his motivation seems to be increasing. He accomplished getting to sleep by his target time six out of seven nights. He and his girlfriend cooked dinner at home nearly every evening and they both started the book I recommended for inspirational reading. He did not get to the gym as he’d wanted or done the work task he’d chosen, but he felt great about the big influx of work his company had this week, more than usual for this time of year, which allowed him to let go of the guilt of not getting all of the goals done, in favor of the emotional flexibility he can give himself when priorities shift. Additionally, on the mindfulness front, he agreed, at my suggestion, that it’s time to let go of some of the guilting language that he’s been using on himself. We’re looking to the future now, and for next week, we have three more goals, new ones, in addition to sleeping and eating well, from which he’s already experiencing increased self-esteem that the new habits the prior week helped establish. Seems like we are both looking forward to what our next sessions will bring!

How to Ask Your Partner if Opening the Relationship Could be Right for You

Dearest Partner,

I love our relationship. I feel secure and comfortable with where we are but also feel like I still have a drive towards meeting new people and having sexual encounters with others besides you. I hope that I don’t trigger you by saying this as I am still very attracted to you and love the way we connect physically. Recently, though, I’ve been reading about and researching non-monogamy. The “open” relationship lifestyle comes in many forms and can progress at a variety of speeds, all dictated by the rules you and I can decide on together. These can look like us playing together as a couple with other couples or singles, you and me dating people separately, or even having other relationships along-side this one. Since neither of us has any experience with this topic, I was hoping we could read some articles or books together that could lead to some in-depth conversations about how we feel about what we’ve learned. Perhaps we can find a relationship coach who can help guide us in a trial exploration. If we do this, I’d like it to be an adventure we’re both into and can share as a team. I promise to be honest, to share my feelings and needs, and to listen to you with an open mind when you state yours. No pressure, but I’m really hoping we can discuss this further over a glass of wine and dinner.

Yours primarily,

Tantric Sexual Foreplay

What is Tanta?

It’s a Hindu or Buddhist mystical text from the 7th century or earlier that outlines the principles and rituals of meditation, yoga, and sexuality.

  1. ‘The weaving and expansion of energy’
  2. Not goal-oriented or orgasm focused
  3. Seeks to make foreplay enjoyable and rewarding in and of itself

Set the Mood

  1. Turn down the lights to the rest of the world.
  2. Loosen your body by stretching, shaking out your limbs, or dancing together to start.
  3. Begin in an active pose: standing, sitting upright with limbs ready for use, core engaged.

You don’t have to stay off the bed but you can start in new and unexpected places: up against a table or wall, in a doorway, as if you are taking a moment from your natural movements but then being caught in a sudden thought of arousal. Notice your lover’s stance, the shape of the body in motion or rest. See how every action and change in position can be enticing and calling to you.

Maybe you start on opposite ends of the room. Imagine you are entangled in some banal daily activity until one or the other catches the glimpse of something enticing. Can you see the outline of her breast? Is his butt flexed and tight? Maybe she’s bending over a table, engaged in some kitchen project. Perhaps you’re wiggling your hips a bit trying to think through some work-related email questions. Every moment, each shape of your moving or resting body can be active, shapely, beautiful to another’s eyes, no matter what you’re doing. What if you can use this shared proximity to build tension in the void? “We’re clearly busy but wanting can be the lube that tickles the day. I’m willing to wait but I want to show that I’m open and excited for whenever the mood should incline you.”

And when your eyes do catch, and the smiles come naturally, you intuitively feel that it’s time for a break from real life. Without words, slowing your breath, you let your bodies make the requests. The chest leans in, an arm extends, a toe points the way, the eyes search, the lips quiver towards your partner slowly, naturally, with longing but without agenda.

She’s leaning up against her desk, looking back at you, when you come up behind her. Chest to back, arms coiled, energy merging, breath connected, two bodies join in time and space, seeking respite. Defenses down, open, willing, the energy from within activates, moves, travels through one body and touches the other. Sparks fly in between you though it’s happening in the underground, in the subconscious, where your hidden mojo makers plot or are thwarted and right now they are dancing in triumph, pulling you toward your lover’s skin, as if the life force that begins there is the only force left in the universe worth paying attention to, at least for right now.  

Bodies connected, clothes on, broad daylight, your hand comes up her neck to grab her hair in your fist. You smell her. It occurs to you that you don’t stop to inhale her nearly enough. You move her body from in front of the desk to up against the nearest wall. There you press yourself up against her, coming closer and pulling away, a little with each breath. Her inhales deepen and her midsection starts to move with yours. From the wall, you lead her again, into the hallway and toward the bedroom. You pick her up, wrap her legs around your waist and pause in the next doorway for another moment. You kiss her and your tongues move together but slowly, intently. Keeping eye contact and synchronized breathing, you kiss for what seems like ages. You can’t remember the last time you enjoyed kissing so much.

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Somatic Exercise in Session:

Animals and Snuggles

He sought me out because he wanted to spice things up in his marriage. Between kids, work, projects on the house, and weekly dinners with other couples, he and his wife had forgotten how to find their passion. We started the first session by sitting in front of each other with our eyes closed. I asked him to mirror my breathing and seek to clear his mind of any distractions. We were on the floor, seated in front of each other and then I asked him to come onto all fours and I led this visualization. “Pretend you’re an animal. Any animal. Feel in your body what it’s like to be you. Move a little. Sway back and forth, arch your spine, wiggle or shake. Make faces. Make a sound. Now start moving around on the floor a little, and I’ll be near you but doing my animal. Then we suddenly notice that there’s another animal in the room. Stay on all fours and come towards this animal, if you’re willing. It’s ok if you’re not ready yet or today. If you find me, you’re welcome to check me out, with your body. Keep your hands on the floor but use your head, your side, your neck, your face to feel this animal who is near you.”

As we move around each other, I feel his head butt into mine hesitantly. He comes forward but then pulls away before he comes back. I inhale deeply as if smelling him. He seems to like it, like I’m taking him in. He comes closer and we continue to play, to explore like puppies, like children. I barrel into him, knocking him to the floor, on his back. I can hear him laugh. The wall has come down. It wasn’t until several sessions later that he talked about his parents. His mom died when he was young and his father raised him. His father was a great provider, but he was not emotional, connected, or physically affectionate. He admitted that he’s had a hard time with physical intimacy when it’s not for the purpose of sex. I asked him if he’d like a hug. He just sat there for a while and looked at me but it was clear that he was deep in thought. Then he told me that he’d never put the two together that the lack of intimacy from his parents was directly connected to his fear of being intimate that way with a partner. He said it’s scary to think of letting go that way for fear that it will be short-lived or that he will be rejected for looking soft. We leaned into each other for the hug. I must have held him for ten minutes. Then he laid his head on my lap and cried. He didn’t say much for the rest of the session. He just went out the door, looked back once, smiled and nodded.

Who are Wise Hedonists?

Wise Hedonists are lovers of life. They seek to maximize their fulfillment and pleasures sustainably. What good is pleasure if it comes at a detrimental cost to your future self? Wise choices in the now will afford the long-term opportunity to continue on the path of your goals and dreams. As coaches, we long to share our breadth of knowledge and experience in the ways of interpersonal communication and connection. We believe that your life’s Net Worth is better categorized by your Net Work, or the people with whom you surround yourself, and what you derive from that collection of energies: love, nurturing, trust, validation, support, friendship, comradery, education, competition, inspiration, power, education, creativity, and of course passion, lust, sexual exploration, fantasies, kinks, fetishes – any and all sexual desires and longings, in a safe, shame-free way.

Coaching vs Therapy

Many people look to coaching as an option to traditional psychotherapy because of the social stigma of the latter opposing to the former. While therapy and coaching both seek to improve a client’s internal, mental and physical experience, a coach is not a licensed healthcare professional who can label and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Though a coach can work with clients who also need the care of a healthcare professional, they will typically only do so in tandem with and at the recommendation of a psychotherapist.

Like a therapist, a coach is dedicated to facilitating growth in a person’s day-to-day life, including self-discovery, actualizing potential, improving interpersonal skills, overcoming inhibitions, goal-setting, and elevating fulfillment in all aspects of life.

A coach may explore a person’s past when doing so may reveal relevant patterns and causes of behavior that helps the client understand, deshamify, and normalize the habits and feelings that may be holding them back from developing new strategies for accomplishing their goals. A coach may explore the social systems in which a person is connected and seek to illuminate beliefs that he or she may be unaware of, beliefs that may have a significant influence and limiting capability on one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Coaching can occur in-person or on the phone and the duration can range from short to long-term, as the client feels is useful. As a foundation, a primary component of our coaching is based on practice, utilizing experiential exercises to foster a deep connection between our minds and our bodies to explore feelings and reactions, to roll-play new communication skills, and to build new habits toward meeting your long-term goals.

We may also recommend reading material and offer homework so that you can practice learned tools on your own time.