Tag Archives: 2011

visualizing change

My 2011 Vision Board

I have some pretty major transformations planned for the coming year, as I mentioned earlier. So I thought creating a vision board would be a smart way to begin my New Year, a visual reminder of all the goals and dreams and desires I’ve been jotting down for myself. So many of us, myself included, often respond more deeply to a combination of words and imagery. Also, for an impatient soul like myself, for whom changes cannot come quickly enough, I’m hoping it will help me manifest more quickly and effortlessly. I plan to hang this board in my room as a daily reminder of the new energy I’m welcoming.

I’ve included imagery to reflect changes I’d like to make in my career and income, relationships, health (more vegetables and more yoga!), home, experiences, friendships and romantic relationships. I’ve included words to describe the best of my qualities, those I’d like to emphasize — such as savvy, resilient, optimistic, authentic, soft, irreverent, confident and captivating. Yeah, I like that last one, too!

Creating this vision board was a time-consuming process and a labor of love. I spent literally hours cutting words and images from old magazines and catalogs, focusing on those that evoke feelings I want more than actual things. I would like to remodel my bathroom, but rather than spell it out, I simply included a photo of a sleek, modern bathroom. I used words like “warm” and “comfort” for my home. I allowed myself to include photos of two very specific wants:  and iPad and new car, in part because I feel certain and confident in wanting these. For some of my less tangible desires — socialization and community — it resonates more to use aspirational words, combined with my heartfelt intent, to ask for the universe’s help in welcoming what’s right into my life.

For relationships, I cut out a wide swath of material — even including diamonds and diamond rings, and the words “engagement” and “commitment.” When it came time to paste these to my poster, I realized that words like “romance,” “unforgettable moments” and “touch” resonated the most with what I feel comfortable welcoming into my life for the coming year, along with the words “trust, thoughtful, kindness and good humor” to describe the qualities in a man I’d love to invite into my life. I left off the diamonds for now.

Right in the middle of my collage, I placed two key themes:  “choose wisely” to keep myself focused and “receive more than you imagined possible” to remind myself to be open to the divine plan.

When I awoke that first morning and went to visually absorb my work, I had to take several deep breaths to process through some fear. Why? Well… I want a lot! Having suppressed so many of my desires for so long while in my dysfunctional marriage, it feels a little scary to let myself want again. I’ll have to erase a few scripts — e.g. “to want things is materialistic” — that came with the relationship and release my fears as I go.

I have enough left over verbiage clipped from magazines to craft several crude ransom notes — some of it stronger, bolder language than I felt comfortable using just now.  I think I’ll keep these for next year’s vision board. I might feel better about opening myself to even more abundance and possibility next year — maybe even those words and images that welcome and invite a partner into my life.


new year, new me

New Year, new me. I’m not only counting on 2011 to be better than last year (or, rather, the past three years), I’m planning on it. I’ve been meditating, visualizing, thinking, defining, feeling, creating, reading and contemplating. I’m creating vision boards and drafting goals and writing down the steps I’ll take to reach them.

My philosophy is this:  There are many people I don’t know. There are many companies I don’t know. In fact, in general, there’s a lot I don’t know. And it’s entirely possible that among the body of things I don’t know, so many things are way cooler, more positive, sexier, more abundant and better for me than what I have known. There is a man out there, who I may have never met, who is a perfect partner for me. There is a company and a position out there that wants, needs and rewards all the best of my knowledge and skills — and it has fantastic pay and benefits! I can only truly create these things if I can believe they are possible.

So I’m trying to dispel some old, worn-out beliefs, test my assumptions, expand my horizons and learn new ways to be open, invite, and welcome amazing new things into my life. I invite you, in all your fabulousness, to join me!


New Year’s sex

Did you have sex with your spouse, mate, lover, partner this weekend?

I always thought sex on New Year’s Eve was a given in a relationship, kind of like the free space on a Bingo card. But after we had children, my spouse seemed to think the little ones were a great excuse to stay home and go to bed early.

I wouldn’t have objected if “going to bed early” meant some extra quality time for us. I enjoyed sex, and my libido remained strong through most of our relationship, even the difficult times. Furthermore, more time in bed meant more time to connect, catch up and enjoy pillow talk. Sex can help keep the lines of communication open.

And sex acts as a barometer in a relationship. It’s not the most important thing, of course, but it’s often a good indicator of how things are going. Regular sex — or desire, the potential for sex, for each other — indicates the passion and love are still alive, that there’s still a connection.

My own appetite for sex with my husband was certainly an indicator of how our relationship was going. I put on a few pounds after our second child and, along with the added demand of a new baby in the house, our sex life dwindled. I didn’t feel great about my physique, and my husband’s lack of desire certainly didn’t provide reassurances to that end. But we blundered on.

A few years later, it was a bit of a surprise to me when my husband charged, “I’ve already given up sex. What more do you want from me?!”

Wow! By this time, I was already convinced our relationship was doomed. Add to that the fact that he hadn’t seemed interested in me in months. I couldn’t even look him in the eyes, much less imagine sharing myself in that way any longer.

I responded, “You’ve denied me emotional intimacy for months. How could you possibly think I could be physically intimate with you?”

For women, sex and talking, sharing and connecting emotionally are two sides of the same coin. One is unlikely to happen without the other. And, in my experience, women are likely to want to communicate and connect emotionally before sharing physically, while men often prefer the physical before they open to the emotional. Herein lies one of the great balancing acts, the yin and yang of intimacy in a relationship.

So, if you haven’t already, log off and have some slow and steamy New Year’s sex, along with a side of snuggling and pillow talk, to begin the year right for your relationship.


opportunity

As in the popular sitcom, Will & Grace, I spent much of my college years and twenties in social circles that included gay men, several of whom are still my friends. I love hanging with this group of friends because they’re fun, successful, love to do the kinds of things I like to do (go dancing, stroll through art museums, have an occasional cocktail, watch romantic movies), etc. I had my “Will,” and we could talk about anything. Nothing is taboo between a straight woman and a gay man.

I also learned a critical life skill from my gay male friends. Every time they greeted me or another female friend among the group, they did so with amazing energy:  “Gorgeous!,” my Will would call me, arms outstretched. And then he would add a comment about something I was wearing or my hair or choose something else positive to say.

There were times when I suspected a superficiality in this — it was a cultural norm, as is asking someone how they’re doing and not waiting for an answer — yet it never got old and it never failed to make me feel good about myself.

I came to see these behaviors as a powerful opportunity, a great way to make others feel good. I try to use these opportunities regularly — in business, in can be a great way to disarm someone otherwise intimidating or difficult and, especially in parenting, I’ve learned that it’s one of the great tools I can use to reinforce my children’s self-esteem, while noticing and encouraging positive behaviors. I also realized that it really wasn’t superficial at all. The positive things I find to say are very genuine, perhaps because I prefer to see the good in others.

It seems that few straight men have caught on to these behaviors. Perhaps it comes less naturally to heterosexual males. So guys, here’s a big opportunity for the new year:

  • Smile
  • Greet a woman by calling her a really nice name — e.g. Gorgeous, Beautiful, Pretty Girl…
  • Notice the positive and comment on it
  • Recognize the beauty in everyone

Trust me, it will work wonders!