Make Life More Interesting

Want to feel more engaged in your life? Finding your personal flow by examining your patterns and being open to change.

As we move through change it can be helpful to track and notice patterns. In the tracking we find how we build our personal flow. What works, what does not. From here we can create ways to build more flow into our daily routines. Check out this post for help tracking your patterns and organizing your life changes.

This awareness lends itself to offering you more opportunities to bring flow into your life, thus creating a positive cycle to make your life more engaging and interesting to you.

And wallah … you begin living a life in flow more often than not. 

Small Steps Make a Big Difference

So many people bite off more than can chew when it comes to habit changes. They know the big goal they want to accomplish but it is too big, too overwhelming and they never start or stop too soon to see the change happen. Don’t be that person. Just start small and keep going.

Did You Get Lucky Last Night? 3 ways to make sure you continue to have a healthy sex life.

In my office I counsel many people on the topic of sex. So many of us are unsatisfied with our sex lives and are looking for ways to talk about and communicate our desires, wants, needs effectively and compassionately. Sex is not a dirty word or activity … it is a necessary biological function. Here’s why we need it.

Is it really about getting lucky? Or is a good sex life about showing up with intent. Sticking to the theme this week and honoring this lucky day of St. Patrick’s Day … let’s talk about sex.

I talk a lot about sex. So many people are trying to figure out their sex lives and so many people have questions about what they can do to increase their sexual health. So many are embarrassed, shamed, and scared of speaking directly about and to their sexuality.

I have spent more time in the last 10 years explaining condom use and STDs to people over 60 than I have to my teenage clients or my own kids, and I have spent so much time talking to people about acceptance of their sexual desires. This is because so many were in committed relationships prior to the age of AIDS, open conversations about sexuality, STDs, and wide spread exposure to different sexual preferences.

I also spend a fair amount of time with people who are unhappy in their committed intimate relationship regardless of age. They feel unsatisfied and unable to explain why or ask for what they really want to be different – now that their relationship(s) have evolved. As a result of societal learning they struggle to know just what they can ask for and “what’s ok”. In reality, you can ask for whatever you want and it is all ok as long as you are not hurting someone else. Below are 3 ways you can discuss sex to create the best sex ever. BECAUSE good communication about sex makes it much, much, much better – as a result, talking about your sex life makes it soar.

1) Make Sure You Talk About It

I see so many in my office who do not know how to talk about sex. Our culture leans toward sex being shameful or dirty while exposing everything on reality TV. Reality TV isn’t the bad guy, they just figured out how to give us what we really want, while allowing us to blame them for the demise of humanity. They do not care about your judgment, they just want your peeping Toms, and boy do we give them up easily. We are so captivated by others doing things we are shamed to admit we are curious about, we watch to the tunes of billions of dollars. Maybe it is time to stop giving the TV folks our money and have an honest conversation about how we feel about our own sexuality.

For some they cannot talk openly about sex, but for others we cannot talk openly, honestly, or authentically about sexual preferences but we sure can get raunchy. We might be really good at saying and commenting on the “nasty” but avoid the real intimate and honest conversation about it. It is ok to talk dirty, get raunchy, and make jokes as long as it is not at the expense of another AND you can be open about the intimacy and vulnerability of your own experience.

Having an open honest conversation about sex is one way to combat sexual assault and harassment, stop homosexual discrimination, and decrease teen pregnancy. However, for many of us this would mean, we would have to be vulnerable. We would have to open up about what sex really means to us, how it helps us connect, and the pain of being rejected if that intimacy is not returned. It can be difficult to talk about, and for some easier to just make jokes or put sex down as something ugly and unwanted rather than face the reality that sex is something we all need until the day we die.

Get rid of the shame by talking about your experiences, preferences, and curiosities with a trusted person. Shame cannot survive the exposure. Shame builds and lives in a bubble of secrecy, silence, and judgment. By speaking about it, asking questions, and exploring your thoughts and ideas with a safe person shame goes away. If it is too much to talk about everything you are curious about, just start small and build up your ability to speak about more difficult topics slowly. If you do not have anyone in your inner circle who would be a non-judgmental person, find a therapist. Some specialize in sexuality and sex therapy and can help you identify your intimate goals.

I cannot stress enough how important honest, open communication about sex is for the health of your sexual relationship and making sure everybody has a happy ending.

2) Understand what sex is and what it isn’t

For centuries our culture has been inundated with “rules” about what sex is and is not. Many buy into these cultural definitions without digging deeper into why they came into existence in the first place. Much of the reason behind such rules has to do with blood lines, lots of death, money, and cultural assimilation. Very little has to do with love and personal preference.

As a result of this cultural learning we like to think we have willpower over sexual needs, and in many ways we do. In others we do not. There is a great amount of literature on sexuality and much of it points to how biologically driven our sexual need is. This is not to say we get free reign to use, abuse, or take sex from others, however it can help decrease shame we have around our curiosities and enjoyment of sexual exploration. Once you know what you want and what you like, it is much easier to communicate about it … and have I mentioned how important communicating about sex is to the health of your sexual relationships?

Sex does not equal love … and love does not equal sex. As noted above sex has a biological drive behind it so equating it with love is a losing battle. Sex is just a physical act. However, orgasm does release a shloo of hormones and neurotransmitters that help us feel connected, calm, and content. Orgasm is important in realigning the body for optimal health. Yet, many never get to experience this event, or at least experience it too little because of physical issues, sexual shaming, or being with partners who are not sensitive to each other’s needs.

As partners in a committed relationship it is important to honor the other’s timing. One of you may need more time to climax than the other, one may be more shy, one partner may be more or less aware of the physical anatomy and structures that can be used to bring climax on. Again, it is important to provide opportunities to discuss preferences, desires, and physicality of what brings pleasure and joy. These discussions result in much more gratifying sexual activities for all people involved.

Let go of “whose in charge”. I see so many couples who believe that one partner should be the driver of their sexual relationship. This is not the case. Much of this control has been given to males due to patriarchal societal values and this is a lot of pressure. Men are only half of the sexual relationship, and women are only half of birthing a baby. It takes all partners to engage fully in a sexual relationship. This does not matter if your relationship is female/male, male/male, female/female or any other combination of sex types. All partners need to be fully involved and fully engaged to make your sex life the best possible. Everyone has preferences, a voice, and a body. Just because someone does not like what you like does not mean you are wrong or broken, it just is an opportunity for you to explore something you haven’t thought of before. Speak up, use your body, and enjoy your personal preferences. Talk about it, give it a try, and be ready to compromise. This will make your sexual activity a great adventure.

3) Taking care of yourself and things

So often the problem with the couples sex life is they are overwhelmed and tired. They haven’t taken care of themselves because they are too busy taking care of others in the household, chasing deadlines, and making day to day operations run. Then when it comes time for them to connect, they turn on the TV and connect to the late night TV hosts instead of each other.

I often see one member of the couple over working to make the household run and one clueless about how much work it takes. They ask to help, but in doing so (rather than taking initiative and jumping in to be a partner) they are putting more pressure on the partner to manage everything, leading to more burnout. Don’t get me wrong they want to help and support each other, but they are lacking communication to actually be a team. They haven’t written out the plays they want to see executed and by who, together.

Thus one person remains in charge and often exhausted. And who wants to have sex when you are exhausted and overworked – it just becomes one more thing on your to do list and one more person to take care of while giving away your energy – defiantly not orgasm range. Just another messy 10 minutes out of your life. Without orgasm on a regular basis no one would continue to have sex. So why is it is surprising that half of this duo does not want to have sex on a regular basis. No orgasm, no 10 minute messy activity … no matter how fun it is supposed to be. The answer to this problem – communicate and work as a team not as a manager and employee.

Finally, take care of yourself. When ya’ll hooked up you probably thought each other was pretty hot, at least in some ways. Over time we often let ourselves go, “let it all hang out” literally, and do not practice the same level of hygiene we did back in the day. This change is ok, however if you have let yourself go to the point that your health is impacting your sexual drive, your negative thinking of self is getting in your way, or your stamina is gone, it is time to take back your health.

Healthy eating and sleep cycles cannot be underestimated for a healthy sex life. Nor can regular workouts which help keep energy moving and blood flow happening (everywhere). And you can’t ignore the way you think about yourself and your partner(s). If you are not speaking positive about yourself why should anyone else. Take control of your sex life by taking control of the way you talk and think about yourself.

Most of us feel difference in our sexual appetite and options as we age. This is normal, however there are many ways to work around these changes. The trick … be ready to ask for and seek out these options. Do not be embarrassed about your requests. For men, erection may become more difficult, for women lubrication may be needed. The changes can result in painful sexual experiences, yet there are ways to mitigate them if you are willing to speak up. The bottom line … be ready to experiment and talk. Speaking about what is happening for you, what you would like the try, and being willing to experiment with each other is the key to getting out of the sexual desert. Talk about it and it will get better.

So in the end the key to having a healthy sex life is talking about sex, not being embarrassed to ask for what you want and need, and about taking control of your preferences and desires.

Communicate the above clearly to your partner(s) and watch your sex life blossom.


Make it Strong …

Ready to get your workout on this weekend? This one combines a number of fast exercises for a strong metabolic workout, then adds dumb bells to make you strong. Together they challenge your mind. You up to the challenge???

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Get Into the Groove

  • Squat to Toes – For this squat keep toes pointed forward, feet hip width apart. You may want a block or towel better your thighs to activate the inner thigh, hip, and low back. With control, bring fingers to the floor as you squat low. As you raise up, keep arms straight and extend overhead and move all the way through the squat to full extension on your toes. Your body should be in a straight line nice and tall.
  • 5-Pointed Jumping Jack – basically, a jumping jack but take an extra stop with arms extended out to the sides, then jump again and bring them above your head. Repeat in the opposite direction, so jack is 3 parts – low arms, mid arms, high overhead arms.

The Work

1 set through, 30 seconds each exercise. 10 second rest. Repeat 2 more times.

  • Compass Jumps
  • Plank Spider Walks
  • Rocket Girls
  • Bear Crawl
  • High Skip Jumps – travel if you have space to move around
  • Plank Rockets

Dumb bell Matrix

DB in each hand moved through each exericse for 8-10 reps, make the weight hard enough, but keep good form. 2x through

  • Rotate and chest press – Standing with knees slightly bent, DB in each hand, press forward and rotate through the torso. Watch the knees, keep the rotation smaller than moving the knees, or if you’d like a bigger rotation, pivot the foot on the toe to follow the knee. Knees, toes, and nose should be going in the same direction to keep the knee protected.
  • Rotating Curling Lunge
  • Upper Cuts
  • Squats with a Y shoulder press
  • Front to Lateral raises
  • T-burpees – want a different burpee options? Check out this article
Want to make it a little more challenging? Add a 30 second plank hold between each of the exercises above.

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Super Slow & Super Speed

Want to increase your physical and mental strength quickly? Try super slow training. It challenges muscle & mind in a big way … while you move at a snails pace.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Workout Overview

In today’s workout you are going to complete a set of super slow movements. These should be 10 second concentric (shortening phase of the muscle movement) movement and 10 second eccentric (lengthen phase of the movement) movements. It helps to count out loud.

This takes a lot of concentration and focus. If you lose track just pick up where you thought you left off. Pay close attention to form. Super slow sets are a great way to notice how different areas and systems of the body are connected. This internal awareness and learning help with things like negative self talk, emotional regulation, and perseverance for daily life experiences.

The 2nd portion of today’s workout is speed work. Using the information you learned about your body in the slow sets perform the exercises as fast as you can with good form for time.

The movements can be weighted or not depending on your ability to maintain your form.

Add some medicine balls to your home gym for versatile overloaded movement options. These are the ones I have in my home gym:

Spri medicine ball
Medicine balls are a great way to add weight to your workout and can be used in a variety of exercises.

Lower Body Slow Set

  • Squat with Super Slow Diagonal Arm Lift
  • Squat with Super Slow Toe Lift
  • Lunge with Super Slow Kick Through

Upper Body Slow Set

  • Push Ups
  • Frontal Raise
  • Rear Flys
  • Lateral Raise
  • Triple Threat – Bicep Curl to Over Head Press to Tricep Over Head Press

Speed Work

Pay attention to form. It is easy to hurt yourself when you are going fast. Pay attention to the form you practiced in the super slow sets and apply that learning to speed work here. Do each exercise for 1 minute and work to complete as many repetitions as you can.

Lower Body Speed Set

  • Squat with Diagonal Arm Lift
  • Squat with Toe Lift
  • Lunge with Kick Through – 1 min each leg

Upper Body Speed Set

  • Push Ups
  • Frontal Raise
  • Rear Flys
  • Triple Threat – Lateral Raise Bicep Curl to Over Head Press to Tricep Over Head Press – do not throw your back to make the movement happen. Remember to use good form and recruit the strength from the muscles being worked.
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Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Planks and Lunges

Ready to crush your lower body and core goals? Upgrade your personal power today with a core and leg workout.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Workout Starters

  • 30 seconds – Wall Sits with Lateral Shuffle – make sure you have enough wall space to shuffle 1-3 spaces to each side. If you do not, just do a squat and shuffle with your butt low.
  • Single Leg Hop Overs – 10 to each leg
  • Butt Drops – No weight, work on form here to get ready for below
  • 10 total – Suicide Press Ups – go slow, work on form

Lunge Set #1

Perform 10 repetitions and alternate legs for each exercise below.

  • Side lunges – Sweep arms low and side to side, like you are skating for speed.
  • Cross over lunges
  • Back lunges with lateral torso flexion
Fitbit Versa™ Watch

Plank Set – Alternate each leg

  • Knee to elbow
  • Knee to center
  • Knee to opposite elbow

Want some video guidance on Planks? Check this post out.

Butt Lifts- Backside Builders

10 repetitions of each exercise below – place your feet on a medicine ball or other unstable surface

  • Both feet on the ball
  • 1 Leg raised, toe pointed toward sky
  • Both feet on the ball
  • Opposite leg raised, toe pointed toward sky

Lunge Set #2

Perform 10 repetitions and alternate legs for each exercise below.

  • Side Lunges, sweep arms low and side to side, like you are skating for speed.
  • Cross over lunges
  • Back Lunges with lateral torso flexion

Plank Holds

Hold for 30 seconds each exercise. Keep the belly button pulled toward the spine and the core tight to protect the low back. Take rest as needed.

  • Table Top
  • Elbow Hold
  • High Plank alternate leg lifts

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

Re-write Your Communication Style Handbook

Most of us are operating from a communication template based on our earliest years – the people we lived with, watched, and interacted with. We do not know the skills and ways of relating we picked up from them because we did not lay down memory using words, symbols, and language. We learned by doing and physical sensation. If you are still operating as though your 3 year old was the wisest person in the world, it may be time to revisit yourself and upgrade those skills.

Walk Yourself Strong

When your body feels tired and overwhelmed, do not skip your workout … just shift your intensity. Try a walking workout with a strength set for a full body workout while controlling your intensity levels.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.


Get to Walking …

This weekend’s workout is about getting a full body workout while walking. For this workout you can use items you can use body weight or you can use anything might find on the trail (like rocks and heavy branches), in the park (jungle gyms are great), or carry some rubber tubing with you. I have included some youtube videos using the rubber tubing. If you are inside – like in the mall – you can use your body to wrap the tubing behind for the low row and bend at the hip and step on it for the reverse flys if you cannot find solid structures or doors to hook it to. For the pushups you can you use any height, just make sure the structure or item you pick to work off is stable.

Begin by walking at a fast pace. After 2 min add the 1st strength interval in. Complete 10 repetitions of each exercise and then continue walking for 2min. Add the intervals in between walking sets until you finish the strength items. You can finish the walk or do a 2nd round.

Kbands Training

Strength Sets

  • Walking Lunges (alternate)
  • Push Ups (if not able to do them on the floor, do them on a wall)
  • Squats (knees over your ankles and behind your toes to keep your knees safe)
  • Reverse Flys
  • Backward Lunges (alternate)
  • Chest Flys
  • Signal Leg Squats (10 each side)
  • Low Row

Using Rubber Tubing …

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!