We were sipping cappuccino yesterday morning in Sayulita beach side, when a pair of Humpback whales (called “Jorobadas” by those who live here) showed up. Their spouts shot water above them as they rolled right past. They were like 50’ moving islands, massive.
Did you know that that whales mate for life? And as a species they breathe out when they dive into the deep. We humans breathe in when diving into the deep unknown waters of conflict. In fact probably as the stresses of your life go up, you may notice yourself holding your breath and losing your ‘love compass’. I often wonder if couples would be like paired whales if they learned to breathe out more.
The truth is there is a lot to stress about these days: finances, lack of time, multiple responsibilities, overwhelming schedules, cars, houses, life stage changes, aging parents, birthing children and all the adaptations we make along the way. In all of these flushing dynamics you may notice yourself becoming irritable, forgetful, lacking sleep and developing a more and more positional style of relating. No wonder so many relationships break-up. If we only managed our stress we would have better relationships and live longer as a result!
When your life pressures rise like the tide, don’t lock into a story that you are ‘right’ and your other is ‘wrong’. This stressful style of relating is what contributes to the fight or flight, withdraw, pursue and eventually a complete rupture of safe attachment over time.
Whales teach us to let go. Breathe more, swim through it all and stay curious. The more you share and breathe through your experience and thoughts in an unconditional way, the more you will notice other perspectives show up. The perspectives you choose in any moment should be conscious. With choice there is freedom and core strength. Deeper connection, intimacy and understanding follows. Too often people turn to pathologizing what are really normal responses to an over stimulated life.
If you pay attention to the signals your body may be showing you, you can make your own adjustments to correct the underlying problems before you undermine your relationship, your job, or your overall emotional and physical health. Is your back sore; are you taking too much on in your day? Are you getting headaches; are you worrying too much? Obviously there are a multitude of causal factors that may be playing out, but as a quick check, how can you pay more attention to your body signals?
I’m not sure how many times a week I hear couples frustrations about their lack of sexual connection, which is generally a symptom of their lack time spent in authentic communication. Our bodies are as open and as responsive as we are in our communication style.
Dr. Pat Love, author of Hot Monogomy suggests that people either ‘turn on’ their sexual brain in a “sexy body” (visual response) or “sexy brain” (emotional response based on a story of love). But in this life that we rush ourselves through with all of the 2014 life demands, whether you are a sexy brain or sexy body person, you are not going to be connecting or feeling sensual or sexual unless you start to be a better manager of your boundaries and time.
I like to remind clients every time they walk into a room, take the first five steps really slowly. Try it yourself. You will notice this practice makes you feel more grounded, less harried and more confident. You will also find you then are more emotionally accessible to others. And when you walk in, take a moment to notice the smells in the room. This can be a great way to calm your brain as your sense of smell (the olfactory system is a bulb like brain structure located directly above the nasal cavity) goes right to the limbic brain (stress center) to calm you.
Every room you go into presents a new stimulation and therefore low level of stress. Your entry into a room also is a low level stress to others as well. This strategy gives you less intrusion and more invitation into conversations and social networks. If you are someone who has some social anxiety, aromatherapy has been shown to be helpful too. Research finds that rosemary reduces cortisol (stress hormone), lavender improves brain function and calms, peppermint increases energy if you are tired, ylang-ylang promotes calm, and lemon has been shown to have an anti-depressant effect. It has also been studied in its positive relationship with the sexual brain.
The bottom line is, a relaxed brain is a sexual brain. If you have been lacking libido, before you fret start meditating regularly. Meditating on a regular basis promotes a lengthening of brain telomeres. Brain telomeres are stretches of DNA, which protect our genetic data. They make it possible for our cells to divide. This relatively new discovery holds some secretes to how we age and in the prevention of cancer. Research coming out of California and the Netherlands show a direct correlation in accelerated cell division, depression, and aging. In these studies, people with depression had shorter telomeres.
It is also important to step up your exercise routine with cardiovascular exercise 20 minutes every day. Drink more water to flush cortisol out of your kidneys. Spend more time with your loved one doing right brain activities such as listening to music, laughing, dancing, singing, or generally being more mindful of slow walking. And get outside so you have time in natural light! How’s your sexy swagger?
There is more about all of this in my book Break-Up Breakthrough and Learning to Love Again.
How are you rolling through your life lately?
1. Breathe out like whales do…let….go…
2. When you feel overwhelmed, refocus on your five senses.
3. Are there any changes you want to make to your life structures to be able to connect more than you are with those you love?
4. Are you a ‘sexy brain’ or ‘sexy body’ person?
5. Have you ever tried aromatherapy?