February 22, 2017

How Our "Ugly" Can Lead to Love

This week, we conclude our series with Fawn. In this post, she explores how to bring our whole selves into our relationships...no really! It's possible!

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There are moments in life that aren’t that simple. Or readily fixed.

Sometimes all we need is someone who will listen.

“I wish I could just go back,” a friend of mine thought out-loud, thinking of someone she deeply loved many years ago. “I wish I had shown him how much I loved him. He was so wonderful to me but I was young and stupid. Now it’s too late. He’s gone.”

Sorrow. Grief. Regret. No one escapes these feelings.  Myself included.

We imagine that our lives should be… “better,” “with more money,” “successful,” “easier,” “cancer free,” “perfect,” and “(…you fill in the blanks).”

But it isn’t like that right now, is it?

You made a few (or many) decisions that were kind of dumb. (Or, okay, completely dumb.) You went bankrupt. Broke up with a really great guy. Are afraid, angry and very fed-up. You have even managed to lose your car keys yet once again.

Deep down, these words are ringing in your ears, “There is something wrong with me.”

No dearest, there isn’t. You are simply being human, like the rest of us.

When I hear my clients tell me, as they often do, about their grief, disappointment and regret, I truly understand. We feel shame, hopelessness and despair and want to hide. We put on a mask and act like “we are fine.” If we don’t make a change, eventually we end up having no grace for ourselves or any one else.

Ouch. Please, no!


When I find myself ankles deep in failure, I often hear another voice, one that is lovingly poignant.

Fawn, what makes you think that you should be perfect, somehow better than the rest of the human race?

Do you really think that you are somehow immune to suffering and heartbreak?

Who told you that you don’t have permission to fail – and to fail rather gloriously?

Instead, how could what you are experiencing right now be a gift, even in disguise?

Are our lives, warts and all, a gift?

Sure. I think so. My own experience and the stories of my clients have convinced me that every bit of my past, present and future can be a door of possibility, if I receive them as such.

If I choose to bring whatever it is (even all of me!) out from my hiding, if I bring my regret, shame and sorrow into the light, there I can receive healing, hope and, best of all, love. My worst can become gold if I choose to transform my suffering into compassion for those who also bear its burden. What has made me weak can become my strength.

And here’s the cool part. When I come out of hiding, and accept and love those parts of me that I was otherwise ashamed to show, others get to see me. My honesty creates a safe place for others to be honest too. Pretty soon connection is formed. Heart intimacy begins to grow. This is the soil where real love flourishes. No secrets, no hiding, no shame. Just a joyous and dare I say even humorous acceptance of what and who we are. Whew! Relax. We’re going to be OK.

Sometimes, we need help coming into the light. I know I do. I am someone who not only coaches others, I have a coach myself—knowing that if I do the work involved in becoming whole, I can learn to honestly love me. All of me. And you!

There is a Divine Presence, one filled with grace, mercy and light waiting. And wanting to listen to you.


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Happy clients around the world call Fawn “Their relationship guru.”  For single professional women serious about creating an amazing life-long passionate love-affair, Fawn is their go-to expert to discover and claim their feminine power and attract great men who are ready to love, respect, and cherish them. Clients learn to radiate their unique confidence, love, and beauty in a powerful way that makes them irresistible to the men who are the perfect match for them. With confidence and joy — and with her inspired guidance and support — they learn to repel the men who only want to use them, and magnetize and inspire real, quality men into their lives to create real and lasting love for a lifetime.

Fawn spent most of her twenties and thirties with a series of dead-end relationships and broken hearts. When she was almost forty, after one last devastating heart-break, she decided she needed to start taking responsibility for her relationships with men and the pain she was creating. (Either that or become …a nun!) She began working with a coach who ever so gently asked her the questions that opened her eyes and her heart. Within a year, at the age of 40, she married the love of her life and they’re still going strong.

After years of informal coaching and transformational work, Fawn graduated from the prestigious Coaches Training Institute as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

She is passionate about women finding real passionate love while being true to their authentic unique selves.

Learn more at www.fawngilmorekraut.com.


Get your free guide: 

7 Keys to Attracting The Man Who Will Love, Respect, and Cherish You

February 14, 2017

Putting an End to the Valentine's Day Myth

This week, we continue our series with Fawn, who shares with us how we can tune into love all of the time!
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Remember when you were little… and Valentine’s Day rolled around?

If your childhood was anything like mine, February 14th was utterly and absolutely fun. It was a day filled with little cards in crisp white envelopes, cupcakes with a decadent amount of frosting and those tiny heart-shaped candies, the ones with the words, “Love You,” “Hugs” and “Be Mine” on top.

As a child, Valentine’s Day had something for everyone. Mom. Dad. Siblings. Teacher. The classroom. Even that freckled-face boy who teased you way too much.

But we are no longer children, are we?

Alas. No. We have grown up and life looks different now. We’ve experienced our share of hurt, disappointment and betrayal and we now approach relationships with reasonable, well-advised caution.

If we are honest, we may find it hard to believe that love, the real deal, is possible. So when Valentine’s Day rolls around, you might find yourself saying a big, yawning “Whatever.”

Oh how I understand. Enough already with the hearts and flowers and jewelry and perfume ads. Oh yes, it’s Single’s Appreciation Day. Does that term feel a bit condescending to you? It does to me, but maybe that’s just my mood.

So, how did you get through yesterday? Whether you went out with friends, had a hot date, or had a date with yourself at home in your jammies, here are three things I want you to do today.

1.   Realize that LOVE, real love, is all around you. It’s relentless. And unwavering. And outrageously audacious. And we are swimming in it (although sometimes shouting, “Marco!” waiting for the “Polo”). From the beauty of each sunrise to the kindness of strangers, everything (and I mean everything) has been created in and for the beautiful purpose of love. So OPEN your heart. Even if you don’t right now have that one true love, open wide your heart to embrace and receive the enormous love that is this life on this planet. You are here for a reason, and you are loved – oh so deeply. Just look at all the little gifts that are all around you. Look for them. They are everywhere.

2.   Be an amazing LOVER to yourself. Yep. LOVE yourself the way you long for another person to love you. Buy yourself flowers, go to the spa, take a hike in a beautiful location, play your favorite music, put on your best dress and make your favorite dinner. And by all means, turn off that negative chatterbox in your head, if only for the day. Give her the day off so you can allow your thoughts to be only what is consistent with love: thankfulness, beauty, kindness, acknowledgement, expansion, growth.

3.   LOVE your neighbor as you LOVE yourself. From the abundance of #1 and #2, go and GIVE love to everyone you meet. Your neighbor means the person nearest to you. Even the one who annoys the hell out of you. Send them love and compassion. If it’s appropriate, offer them a smile and a kind word. Call a friend and instead of bitching about life, spend some time listening to their heart and sharing yours. In other words CREATE your own celebration of love.

Why do all this? It feels so idealistic and naive. Fawn, you’re silly to ask me to do this.

Maybe you’re right. But this one thing I do know. As you expand your capacity to receive love from the Universe, to deeply love yourself, and to be gracious and loving toward others, your light shines brighter. Your eyes begin to glow. Your mind clears. Your heart expands. And you become the woman who brings love into the room rather than the one grasping for it.

The good news is that A) You’ll be happier and more fulfilled, B) You’ll achieve more success in all areas of your life, C) You’ll be immensely more attractive to the people who are around you (particularly the strong, conscious ones).

How brash love is. In the face of everything that is ugly, unloving and downright evil, love calls us back to the place of childlike hope and trust. It gives us the guts to put fear, that life-sucking fiend, back in its corner. Love elevates us to be more than we ever thought possible, all the while empowering us to let go of our independence, self-sufficiency and holding others in our debt.

Truth is that this is my life’s work. I think about the women in my growing sphere of relationships all the time. I ache with you particularly around Valentine’s Day because I remember how difficult this day used to be for me. And I do my happy dance for you when you see how much you are worthy to be loved.

Wishing you a truly happy day-after-Valentines Day filled with love,

Fawn


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Happy clients around the world call Fawn “Their relationship guru.”  For single professional women serious about creating an amazing life-long passionate love-affair, Fawn is their go-to expert to discover and claim their feminine power and attract great men who are ready to love, respect, and cherish them. Clients learn to radiate their unique confidence, love, and beauty in a powerful way that makes them irresistible to the men who are the perfect match for them. With confidence and joy — and with her inspired guidance and support — they learn to repel the men who only want to use them, and magnetize and inspire real, quality men into their lives to create real and lasting love for a lifetime.

Fawn spent most of her twenties and thirties with a series of dead-end relationships and broken hearts. When she was almost forty, after one last devastating heart-break, she decided she needed to start taking responsibility for her relationships with men and the pain she was creating. (Either that or become …a nun!) She began working with a coach who ever so gently asked her the questions that opened her eyes and her heart. Within a year, at the age of 40, she married the love of her life and they’re still going strong.

After years of informal coaching and transformational work, Fawn graduated from the prestigious Coaches Training Institute as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

She is passionate about women finding real passionate love while being true to their authentic unique selves.

Learn more at www.fawngilmorekraut.com.


Get your free guide: 

7 Keys to Attracting The Man Who Will Love, Respect, and Cherish You

February 7, 2017

Do I Dare Love Again?

This week, we continue our series with Fawn, who dives into the scars that love can leave and how we can avoid shutting love out.

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The subject for today’s post resulted from a common theme that emerged this past week with different clients, women in my workshops, Break Through Into Love consultations, and Facebook status updates. The theme had to do with our willingness to open our hearts again to love after having suffered a devastating loss.

The first time we touch a hot stove we learn quickly not to ever do that again. So it is with love. When we give ourselves to someone, and they abuse our trust, disrespect us, abandon us, or cheat on us, we are left reeling in pain and confusion. The last thing we want to do is go back into that cauldron of heartache. Yet, we DO want to go back. We long to love and to be loved. We are born to love!

A client shared with me last week how difficult it is to emotionally let go of her former “lover” who cheated on her and abandoned her. How on earth can she open her heart again to a new love?

Fortunately, she is embracing our work together, healing her broken heart, learning to love herself and to honor her own values. Her light is beginning to shine again in a way that others are taking notice. She’s more in tune with her own intuition than she was when she first met her former “lover”. It’s unlikely she would ever make the same mistakes again. Still…the hesitation. Do I dare love again? What if he hurts me? I don’t think I can take that.


Love is a risk. There’s no other way to say it. We can’t create a deep and passionate long-term loving relationship without becoming vulnerable to our lover. Every time my husband Steve or I retreat into our own self-protection, we exclude and hurt each other. But we’re committed to each other and to our marriage. So we come back together and apologize and reaffirm our love for each other. And our relationship grows deeper each day.

I shared with my client what C.S. Lewis said so profoundly:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…The only place outside heaven you can be perfectly safe from all dangers of love is hell."

I’m always so moved by this statement by C.S. Lewis. Right after I got off the phone with my client, the message came charging at me again. This time in the FaceBook post of my friend.

“This morning, while working with my voice coach, we were singing The Rose. When it came to the verse that says ‘Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves the soul to bleed.’ I realized I have unconsciously held the belief that love hurts, so don’t let it in again. 
When we’ve been hurt by someone we loved, it’s easy to put up the armor and vow never to let that happen again. Except, when you lock up your heart, you not only disallow outside love to come in, but also, self-love… the most important love of all. Now that I have brought this belief to consciousness, I bless it. I see how it has served to protect me, and now I choose to let it go and let love in again.”

So, I guess the Universe is speaking to us about releasing our armor and taking the risk of loving again. But we should not do it blindly. Only after we have learned the lessons from our broken heart should we bring our wiser whole self back into the arena of love.

Wishing you courage and faith as you open your heart to love.

Fawn


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Happy clients around the world call Fawn “Their relationship guru.”  For single professional women serious about creating an amazing life-long passionate love-affair, Fawn is their go-to expert to discover and claim their feminine power and attract great men who are ready to love, respect, and cherish them. Clients learn to radiate their unique confidence, love, and beauty in a powerful way that makes them irresistible to the men who are the perfect match for them. With confidence and joy — and with her inspired guidance and support — they learn to repel the men who only want to use them, and magnetize and inspire real, quality men into their lives to create real and lasting love for a lifetime.

Fawn spent most of her twenties and thirties with a series of dead-end relationships and broken hearts. When she was almost forty, after one last devastating heart-break, she decided she needed to start taking responsibility for her relationships with men and the pain she was creating. (Either that or become …a nun!) She began working with a coach who ever so gently asked her the questions that opened her eyes and her heart. Within a year, at the age of 40, she married the love of her life and they’re still going strong.

After years of informal coaching and transformational work, Fawn graduated from the prestigious Coaches Training Institute as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

She is passionate about women finding real passionate love while being true to their authentic unique selves.

Learn more at www.fawngilmorekraut.com.

Get your free guide: 
7 Keys to Attracting The Man Who Will Love, Respect, and Cherish You

January 31, 2017

Is Your Relationship Your Heroin?

This week, it is a great honor to introduce you to my dear friend and colleague, Fawn Gilmore Kraut. She is an amazing relationship coach and this month is going to be sharing some of her best thoughts about relationships, dating, and connection. While Fawn primarily works with single women, I believe what she shares can be of help to anyone seeking to find a love that lasts.

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It was an honest but rather scary admission.

“He is like heroin to me,” she said again and again. I shuddered inside but was glad at what she was finally seeing. For some time, the symptoms had shown up like flashing neon signs in her language and behavior.

“He’s been under so much stress.”

Some of her ongoing excuses for his self-indulgent behavior.

“I still miss him. His good side.”

Good side? He routinely abused her physically and mentally for years.

“I am pretty sure that I am co-dependent!”

You think?!

“Help!”

It’s on the way!

This college educated, mother of three was addicted. Not to drugs, porn, or hoarding. Oh no. This unusually sympathetic mother had gotten herself addicted to the very difficult man she married – and she was far from alone on that score.

Relationship addiction is real. It can happen more easily that we realize. Known for his work with chemical dependency, Canadian physician Gabor Maté reveals that the source of an addiction is unresolved pain. The addiction is our coping mechanism to cover up the pain that lies awake in the shadows.

Unfortunately, the more we run from our pain, the more painful life becomes. Like an infected wound, our emotional pain operates in our body much the same as a physical injury, often becoming quite crippling.

Do you think you might be addicted to someone? Past relationship? Sibling? Even one of your children?


Well, here is some evidence that would indicate that you are a relationship addict:


* You call or reach out to the person practically every day. However, they rarely reach back.

* The person dominates your thinking. 

* You can’t get them out of your mind.

* You can’t function until you have some kind of contact with them.

* You make excuses for their behavior. You are blind to reality.

* You don’t care what it costs you to be in the relationship. You even overlook the negative consequences of your actions on yourself and others.

* The relationship affects everything else in your life. It prevents you from moving forward and growing as a healthy human being.

If you are addicted, what is the answer?

According to Dr. Mate, the antidote to addiction is to stop avoiding the pain. To become free, we need to process the source of the problem: our pain. Facing the pain we have been avoiding can be difficult but if we let the pain come to the surface and then, feeling it fully, express the pain in a safe manner with a compassionate person, we can begin the process of healing.

I know. Sometimes the pain has been buried so deep and for so long that you have no idea what it is or how to bring it into the light. In these situations, here is what I recommend to my clients.

First, remove the “drug.”

Stop the behavior that you are using to cover up the pain. Practically, this can mean cutting off all contact with the person. I am talking, “cold turkey.” Without rudeness or blame shifting. You simply stop calling, texting or commenting on Facebook. Whatever the behavior has been, you stop doing it.

Second, you allow your emotions to surface with someone else, preferably a good friend or compassionate professional who has their feet on the ground.

The key here is that your emotions will lead you to the source of your pain, if you are willing to let them surface. Many times our pain is rooted in fear such as fear of abandonment, rejection, or being alone.

Then, as the pain surfaces, you give yourself permission to grieve. However that might show up, anger, tears, screaming, whatever, you allow yourself to mourn.

Finally, when grieving is over, you release, let go, heal and move forward. You forsake the pain and its memories. You begin to rebuild your life with a stronger, healthier, and more hopeful outlook. You are much stronger than you ever realized.

Addicted to someone?

The great news is that, if you are willing, you can be free from behavior that keeps you locked up in the prison of the past.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever been addicted to someone? How did you get through it?

Sending you love,

Fawn


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Happy clients around the world call Fawn “Their relationship guru.”  For single professional women serious about creating an amazing life-long passionate love-affair, Fawn is their go-to expert to discover and claim their feminine power and attract great men who are ready to love, respect, and cherish them. Clients learn to radiate their unique confidence, love, and beauty in a powerful way that makes them irresistible to the men who are the perfect match for them. With confidence and joy — and with her inspired guidance and support — they learn to repel the men who only want to use them, and magnetize and inspire real, quality men into their lives to create real and lasting love for a lifetime.

Fawn spent most of her twenties and thirties with a series of dead-end relationships and broken hearts. When she was almost forty, after one last devastating heart-break, she decided she needed to start taking responsibility for her relationships with men and the pain she was creating. (Either that or become …a nun!) She began working with a coach who ever so gently asked her the questions that opened her eyes and her heart. Within a year, at the age of 40, she married the love of her life and they’re still going strong.

After years of informal coaching and transformational work, Fawn graduated from the prestigious Coaches Training Institute as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

She is passionate about women finding real passionate love while being true to their authentic unique selves.

Learn more at www.fawngilmorekraut.com.

Get your free guide: 
7 Keys to Attracting The Man Who Will Love, Respect, and Cherish You


January 9, 2017

Shame, Pleasure and Performance: Men and Sex

This week, we continue our series with Caffyn Jesse who explores the limitations that we put on male sexuality.

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In the cultural construction of gender, men seem to have more permission to be sexual. This “permission” is actually a very narrow prescription: to be sexual with young women, to be sexual with hard penises, to be sexual in ways that assert the power and authority of phallic masculinity.

How terrible this is for boys and men! In identifying with phallic masculinity, they are meant to become unfeeling, hard and closed. What then of the actual body, that still feels, fears and wants?

In my practice as a somatic sex educator, I see men who suffer intense shame because they are experiencing one of the common sexual dysfunctions: premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, inhibited ejaculation. Or they feel shame because they are tuned in to the joys of anal eroticism, and have no permission to explore this in their lives. Other men suffer because they want no more of the sterile connections they have had with others and feel turned off sex. Some men feel extremely sexual, but have no place to express this. If they have been circumcised, they may carry trauma and scar tissue that inhibits intimacy. Some men feel compulsive and addicted in their masturbation practices, others feel inhibited and joyless. Some men feel shame about homosexual experiences and desire. They feel shame about penis size and function. They can feel intense shame, grief, fear and paradoxical desires when contending with a personal history of anal rape. 

There are so many ways that men are wounded sexually, and yet we live in a culture in which there is no permission for men to explore, express and grieve how they are wounded around sex.

As lovers of men, we can learn to touch in ways that honor the whole body, and make no demand. Men have nerves that may respond with pleasure to internal stimulation, just as women do. Nerves in the external genitals can often feel great pleasure whether the penis is hard or soft. 

Men don’t need a hard penis to be wonderful lovers. They don’t need to interact in ways that assert masculine authority and repudiate anal eroticism. We can learn to honour men in their softness, sensitivity, inwardness and vulnerability – and to touch in ways that celebrate every penis of every size and shape as beautiful in its unique configuration. 


We can offer the embodied insight that the a penis is not a phallus—not—or not only—a symbol of power and privilege—but a sensitive, vulnerable, soft compilation of tissue, nerves, blood and skin. We can invite quiet contemplation of sexual sensation, and celebrate wild expressions of sexual pleasure. There are few men who do not find this form of erotic interaction healing, affirming, and liberating.

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Caffyn Jesse is a Certified Somatic Sex educator and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker who supports diverse people on their journey to sexual wholeness. 

People from around the world visit her Salt Spring Island studio, where Caffyn offers workshops and coaching. She teaches an Intimacy Educator training and the Certified Sexological Bodywork – Somatic Sex Educator training in Canada. 

She is the author of Science for Sexual Happiness and Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure. See her website at www.erospirit.ca and order her books at Amazon online.

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