In my book LIFE: Living in Fulfillment Every Day, Grace encourages Eve to embrace the main goal, the big plan … and that is to always follow what feels good! Embrace your passions; enflame your desires; do the things you enjoy, the things that invigorate you, that make you come alive!
While we don’t speak about this directly in the book, sex could be one of the things that you might want to experience more of on this wondrous physical journey. As women, sex is a multifaceted quandary. It is psychological as well as physical. When we were young, we may have been bursting with sexual curiosity, but in expressing that part of ourselves, we would have opened ourselves to society’s censure and risked incurring the wrath of derogatory labels—think the Scarlett Letter. Or perhaps we embraced the opposite philosophy and practiced abstinence and still experienced social and peer pressure to change. As we get older, we may find ourselves in a committed relationship, and we might be so caught up in our careers or parenting that sex is relegated to the ‘to-do list.’ Stress is great at depleting desire. Or, as is too often the case, our body image and self-judgement might dampen our fervour, at any age.
A friend of mine was very self-critical about herself and her body. She was married to a wonderful man who absolutely adored her, and accepted her for who she was … but she would not accept herself. Because she erected a concrete wall of self-consciousness between them, their sex life dwindled, in fact it was teetering on life support. She desperately craved intimacy, but she resisted having sex, because she didn’t like her body and felt self-conscious in bed with her husband. He didn’t understand her torment and tried to reassure her, but she couldn’t get past her negative beliefs.
Our ego with its negative self-talk can ruin a perfectly good evening—or morning depending on your preferences. It’s hard to get ‘into the mood’ when our mood is wallowing in self-inflicted cruelty and criticism. There have been a lot of negative comments about plus-sized models lately. These women do not view themselves as ‘plus sized,’ but rather believe we need to take stock and embrace a healthier model of beauty. There will always be detractors in life, and standing in your own strength takes courage and perseverance. A Scarlett Letter can only hurt if you allow people to stick pins in you, otherwise the label just slides off.
Beauty comes from the inside. If you are a kind, loving, joyful soul, that beauty shines through and people naturally want to be around you. We all come in different shapes and sizes, like my co-author Annemarie and I say in the Life, we are all a magnificent collection of unique and colourful containers but inside we are filled with the same essence … a loving, beautiful soul. It’s often hard to appreciate that when society focuses on the container rather than the substance.
If my friend had left her ego at the door and invited her soul into the bedroom instead, I suspect she would have had a very different experience—one grounded in mutual respect, adoration, and love. I suspect, she would have rather enjoyed herself and the sensuous time spent with her husband because her head wouldn’t have been there sabotaging everything she truly wanted—a beautiful, honest, intimate connection with her partner.
Whether we doubt ourselves because of what society might think, or because of the limitations we impose on ourselves due to our negative self-criticism, it’s critical to honour what feels good to us!
While we were growing up, we tried to navigate a world that revolved around the ego. In other words, we were very concerned with what image we presented to the world around us— to the people around us. Should we be wild and adventurous, or conservative and practical? Our decisions determined how we presented ourselves on a daily basis. And we presented these images, these ‘holograms’ of ourselves to fit in, to be accepted. But at some point in our lives we want to take the bold step and turn off the hologram; embrace who we really are and what we really want, irrespective of other people’s opinions, judgments, and expectations!
This is the path to fulfillment—to truly finding a life of happiness and delight. Let go of the need to ‘fit in,’ to ‘be perfect,’ to ‘be who everyone else wants you to be,’ and simply be yourself!
Try a little experiment. The next time you are feeling a little frisky and the mind tries to interject its opinions. Kindly, but firmly tell it to butt out. Leave the ego outside the bedroom door, with all its negativity and doubts. Imagine for a moment, that you are born anew, without any expectations, or judgments. Embrace a new mindset. Just for one night, see yourself for who you really are— a lusciously yummy, beautifully sexy, wondrous, and passionate woman. Then, see if you can embrace that idea of yourself from this moment on!