Well, hmmm. This is serious. Making a list of my top 10 reasons why I exist would have to include family and fun! Pics from a recent Santa Cruz family reunion shows I participated in both a reunion and adventure. Rode a roller coaster 4 times and caught up with over 25 relatives. Something spiritual also seems like a good idea ... to cover my bases in case there is a heaven, which by the way, I do believe exists. 

So here goes my list:
1) To raise healthy, happy, well-adjusted & productive children. 
2) To seek God's peace & enjoy Her/Him forever.
3) To love, teach, embrace, help, & heal others from negativity.
4) To function successfully within a family unit.
5) To be playful in a balanced way as a self-wellness activity.
6) To take care of myself responsibly so as not be a burden to society.
7) To think in creative ways & write more immediately-useful books.
8) To gain personal knowledge, strength, peace of mind, wisdom etc.
9) To be grateful for the gift of life & for my 96-year old mother.
10) To be a positive influence on the planet & have a small carbon footprint.

Make your own list. Now think about how you really spend your time. What are your core values and do you honor them on a regular basis? If not, what's taking up your time? Do you want to re-position yourself to match your core self? Would you be happier if you did that? 

What's the best way to bring up a sensitive subject to my partner? My wife? My boyfriend? 

How do I make a request for change without hurting any feelings? 

Is there a way to make my partner more receptive to my ideas?
Complete my Focused-Language Intimacy-Exercise twice a month for 10 minutes to keep the spark alive. Flip a coin to see who goes first. Ask these three questions (or make up your own):

1) On a scale from 1-100, where do you see our intimacy level?
2) Where would you like it to be? (on same scale)
3) What can I do to help move us from a ____ to a ____?

You must follow five rules in order to be kind during the process. The trick is the rules you have to follow:

Rule #1:  Questioner may not talk. (May ask, "Can you give me an example?")
Rule #2: Questioner may not argue.
Rule #3: Questioner may not criticize.
Rule #4: Questioner may not interrupt.
Rule #5: Questioner may not give excuses.

Then switch places.  Choose your words carefully. Loving couples will process the information and apply it to their daily routine. A behavioral transfer is much more likely to happen when people don't feel attacked or criticized. This single interactive partnering practice will keep your relationship on the same positive page!

Many individuals are trying to discover what they did wrong in the last relationship. They don't want to blow it with their current partner. Learn how to maintain a healthy relationship. Everyone deserves to feel loved, valued, appreciated & supported. The truth is, you have to give in order to receive. Hold up a mirror. Be the compassionate, fun-loving light you were meant to be and your partnership will flourish.

Wanna watch the sparks fly? If your love life has gotten it a rut, it's time to spice it up! Both partners have a responsibility to keep the fireworks alive. Let's talk about my four categories to puff up your romantic side: 

1. Think outside the bedroom.     
2. Create erotic partnering exercises.       
3. Build atmospheric mood-boosters.  
4. Discover 50 shades of arousal. 

PART IV-- Discover 50 shades of arousal. Explore. Be adventurous. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Of course, there are endless ways you can add to creating plateaus of arousal:
  • stimulating gels/lubricants
  • sex toys
  • nipple clips
  • vibrators
  • edible underwear
  • dildos
  • body paints 
  • whipped cream and grapes
  • anal beads
  • vaginal/orgasm balls
  • sex machines
  • electro-stimulators 
  • love swings
  • al fresco escapades
I know a married couple, Suzie and Brad, who bought a sex swing for their 10th wedding anniversary. Since it hangs from the ceiling, several adjustments were made for heightened pleasure. Sue added a scarf for neck support and now sits comfortably in the swing, which gives her a sense of total freedom. 
Her legs swing apart easily for her husband to penetrate her at the right angle. Brad stands up on the bed. This is the perfect combination since he has a bad back and Sue has a bum hip. 

The best part about this story is that the couple is in their mid-sixties. Who'd a thunk it? Brad and Sue now use the swing as part of their normal repertoire! Most things are worth a try at least once. Sometimes once is enough. Sometimes couples discover that variety spices up their sex life and takes it to the next level. See pic at the bottom of this blog. 

For my couples handbook guide, Sextastic! Improve Your Love Life in Seven Weeks, visit: http://bettersexloveromance.com
Most people enjoy reflexology. Lovers can practice this to spice up sex:
  1. To awaken your partner's senses, simply run your fingers through his/her hair and massage the scalp.
  2. Rub behind the big toe on both to accomplish the same thing.
  3. For a quick turn-on, massage the hollow area below both anklebones on the inside of the feet. Apply pressure with soothing thumb circles and watch the sparks fly.
  4. Massage the soles in the upper middle part of the foot can open sexual energy in the chest and pelvic areas as well.
  5. Kneading inner thighs have always been a go-to erogenous zone.
  6. Touching just above the knee and behind the knee area works, too. 

Another shade of arousal is the chest area. Many women and some men would enjoy breast stimulation more if they toughen up their nipples. It's easy. With a damp towel or washcloth, rub back and forth directly on the nipple for 30 seconds or so before you step out of the shower. Do this a few times a week until you find the right texture and sensation. This works wonders for people with extra-sensitive nipples.

A big challenge for women I hear from women is, “I don't get much feeling when he touches my breasts...but I would if he felt me up in the right way.” Of course, communication is a wonderful tool, yet many things are often left unsaid. Unspoken words often have negative results, like self-sabotaging your pleasure. Some request their partner to stay away from the chest breast area altogether.

Breasts have a direct line to the clitoris. Discover what you like on your own; then teach your partner how to touch you how you like it. By asking for feedback more often, lovers discover new ways to please their partner: “Honey, do you like me to touch gentler in the beginning? Can I be rougher later on? Do you like A or B better?” Be open to the technique above. Be the grown up. Speak up. Experiment. 

Role-playing is fun and seductive. A man playfully asks his girlfriend, “What's your name tonight, babe?” One woman told me she turns into Sabrina when she wants to play the shy, inexperience lover. Her partner has to “teach” her what to do next. Other times she becomes Dominique, the aggressor, who ties up her partner with a silk scarf with his hands above his head and then spanks or whips him until he playfully asks for mercy. In the end, she gives him freedom and the sparks fly. 

Now you've heard all 40 ways to save your love life from boredom. Use these blog ideas as a stepping stone to thinking of numerous other ways to heighten your sexual pleasure. For couples 7-week guidebook to rekindle, refresh, and reboot your partnership, please visit  http://bit.ly/SevenWeekChallenge.

The question is, what are you going to do to get the romantic sparks going tonight?

Step up your pillow talk for greater intimacy! You get what you give. Be appreciative. Share your dreams. Be real. Show a vulnerable side. You, not your partner, are responsible for bringing something interesting to the table (read bedroom.)  Let's talk about four categories to invigorate your romantic interactions: 

1. Think outside the bedroom.                http://bit.ly/40WaysPart1
2. Create erotic partnering exercises.       http://bit.ly/40WaysPart2 
3. Build atmospheric mood-boosters        http://bit.ly/40WaysPart3
4. Discover 50 shades of arousal.            http://bit.ly/40WaysPart4

For a 7-week guidebook to rekindle, refresh, and reboot your partnership, visit http://bettersexloveromance.com.
PART III: What kind of atmosphere puts you in the mood for love? Men are predominately visual. Women want a pleasant ambiance and feel more connected after an authentic conversation. Here's a few ways to get your  party started:Select your favorite type of music. You can't go wrong with John Legend or Marvin Gaye. Anything with a saxophone usually works, too. 
  • Place electronically flickering tea candles around your bedroom. They're safer than wax candles. Perhaps add a few real candles on the nightstand. Put dozens of the pseudo candles anywhere without the messy cleanup afterwards.
  • Add some incense to your bedroom or change up your normal scent. 
  • Try an aromatherapy diffuser with its essential oils for a change.
  • Move your furniture around for a new look. Add greenery. 
  • Add different shades of lighting. Some bulbs constantly change colors like a mood ring. Remember, the color red is typically linked to dominance and testosterone levels as in mating season, where some animals literally turn red when in heat. During arousal, humans turn reddish especially just prior to an orgasm. Google how colors stimulate parts of the brain for a different effect. 
  • Take an Epsom salt bath together, placing candles for a romantic touch. 
  • Put on some silk sheets. What directly touches your skin is consequential.
  • Wear those the high heels! Dress up as a superhero or in sexy outfits, allowing your partner to seduce you according to your character.
In short, dress up and talk. Create the ambiance that works for you. There's no right or wrong here. For my guidebook for couples, Sextastic! Improve Your Love Life in Seven Weeks, visit: http://bettersexloveromance.com

Invigorate your romantic life in your own unique way!

Is your love life getting stale? Take a look inward. You're responsible for livening up your own partnership. Let's talk about four categories to add fireworks to your sex life:

1. Think outside the bedroom.              http://bit.ly/40WaysPart1 
2. Create erotic partnering exercises.     http://bit.ly/40WaysPart2
3. Build atmospheric mood-boosters.     http://bit.ly/40WaysPart3
4. Discover 50 shades of arousal.          http://bit.ly/40WaysPart4

Let's talk frankly.  This is part 2 out of a 4-part series to show you how to get your love life on track again. The second solution is to engage in erotic partnering exercises. Each couple creates their own interactive partnering practice. In my book, Sextastic!, I call this an Erotic Discovery Exercise. For info on my book, visit: http://bettersexloveromance.com 

Start with 8-10 household objects. Go with the basics: a feather, a piece of fur, a wet washcloth, coffee beans in a sock, baby powder, rose petals, a therapeutic massager, hot baby oil, cold flavored ice cubes, a toothpick, etc. 

One partner closes his eyes. The other picks an object and administers it first on the inner wrist or lower forearm, asking what object was used. You think this is easy? Many people guess “fur” when it's actually “baby powder.” With eyes open, try each object on different places on the other's body. Then switch so the other partner experiments. If you like particular objects, put them in a “special drawer” next to your bed. Try new objects every month and add to your repertoire. Most everyone loves surprises: “Hi, honey. You'll never guess what I brought home today.” 

For a couples guidebook to rekindle, refresh, and reboot your partnership, visit http://bit.ly/SevenWeekChallenge.
 Doing these partnering exercises 10-20 minutes twice a month will keep your sex life from ever being boring. Create your own erotic discovery partnering practice today!  
If you are asking whether or not your love life has gotten boring, it probably has. For the solution, look in a mirror. Each partner is responsible for breathing life and vigor into their partnership. Let's talk about the first of four categories to liven up any couple's sexual and romantic practices:

1. Think outside the bedroom 
2. Create erotic partnering exercises
3. Build atmospheric mood-boosters     
4. Discover 50 shades of arousal          
1) The first solution begins outside the bedroom. The human brain is wired for variety. What have you done as a couple to expand your horizons? Here's a few ideas to keep the spark alive.
    • My personal favorite is to go to the zoo. Animals exhibit primitive instincts. Humans are animals. Visit at least four enclosures and then go directly to the gorilla and monkey exhibits. Watch their expressive gestures and natural postures. Once your creative juices are stirred, head home and watch the sparks fly. 
    • Sign up for a salsa or West coast swing class. I know several places around town where a beginner gets a 30 minutes lesson for $10.00 and then practices it with a variety of partners at different levels for another half hour. Finally, there is open dance floor that lasts for about an hour or so. 
    • Learn a new language. Pretend to be a French couple for the night. 
    • Go to a museum. The sights, sounds, smells just be just what a Dr ordered. 
    • Rekindle the flame by revisiting the place where you met or your first date. (Or somewhere that resembles it.) 
    • Find a live band you normally wouldn't listen to. Appreciate it in a new context. If you don't like it after half an hour, get up and go elsewhere.
    • Go to a farmers market. The food smells and tastes add to the experience. Plus colorful people share info on various topics e.g. glass blowing.
    • Take a day trip to nearby town or tourist site you've never been to. 
    • Learn how to paint while you drink wine. Google places nearby.
The list is endless. Explore. Be creative. Get outside your comfort zone. 

On the flip side, keep your identity in tact. Keep your own hobbies/activities separate, without insisting the other participate. Smothering behavior is not attractive. If you love live theater and your partner hates it, go with a mutual friend who enjoys it as much as you do. Why waste one minute worrying if your partner is enjoying an event you've “forced” him or her to go to? Why torture the person you love? 
Your partner may indulge you once or twice a year, without complaining, because you're not forcing the issue anymore. Weird how that happens...

Two independent personalities blend more happily when boundaries are respected. After all, that's why you fell in love with in the first place! 

For a couples 7-week guidebook to rekindle, refresh, and reboot your partnership, please visit:   http://bit.ly/SevenWeekChallenge.
R is for Respect: If there isn't mutual respect, you can kiss your personal connection goodbye. When that goes, so goes the love. Piece by piece, the passion is chipped away. A sculptor creates something out of nothing. While we all lose our cool sometime, you don't deserve to live with criticism, verbal abuse or negativity as a steady diet.
An abuser, whether verbal or otherwise, is someone who has low self-esteem or some other psychological issues going on, like an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA), for example. He or she will do the opposite of an artist. We can't know someone's motivation or intention, but we can feel negative consequences.

 A disrespectful person chooses to attempt to make nothing out of something, namely you. Don't buy into his/her poppycock. Like sculptured flakes that fall to the floor, many relationships become shredded, after months or even years of disrespect, leaving battered egos and shattered dreams in its wake.

To gain self-esteem, you must first respect yourself. Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said, and I'm paraphrasing here,
Someone can't insult you unless you give them permission. 

Practice being respectful of other people every day, all day long. If you disagree, politely explain why you think the way you do. Tell a story that reflects your views without name-calling. In a nutshell, to be respectful, follow (4) four guidelines:
  1. Ask questions about your companion's day. Discover his/her thoughts, beliefs, feelings and impressions of life in general or about a specific topic.
  2. Listen to your partner. You don't have to agree with him/her, just understand what the other is saying and accept their point of view. What makes your partner tick? What events in your partner's past make him/her think and act in a certain negative way? 
  3. Express your own needs and desires. Use simple phrases. Be firm without sounding demanding. Be in tune with what makes you tick.
  4. Be emotionally honest. Be done with the mind-games you played in high school. You're grown up now. Yes, there is usually an alpha-dog like half of a partnership. If you become too passive, your partner may step all over you (figuratively speaking). On the other hand, if you're too aggressive, you become an oppressive presence or worse. Neither makes for long-term bonding. Above anything, sustained mutual respect is essential in a healthy relationship.

Another popular version of  all this is:  
Be truthful. Be kind. 

Whether you've been together for years or only been dating for a month and getting along well, be up front and honest about what you desire out of a partnership. 

No more game-playing, please!
 Late one night over a dinner, your boyfriend tilts his head and leans forward: So, what exactly are you looking for in our relationship? You don't want to scare him off this early, so you respond:  My career takes so much time right now. I'm not interested in a serious one. I just wanna have fun. 
     Yeah, me too, he replies.

     A week goes by and you wonder why he hasn't texted much or even called. Among your female friends, you talk freely about the qualities you're looking for in a man, such as a sense of humor, intelligence, kindness, financial stability and more. Finally, you call him and discover he wants to move on. He says that it's just not a good fit. Did you just blow off a potential soulmate? Who knows? 
     Be truthful. What's the big deal about an authentic response? Instead of being coy, tell your date that you're looking for a healthy, R-I-P-E relationship:
                                               R   =   Respectful
                                               I   =    Intimate
                                               P  =    Passionate
                                               E   =   Emotionally Supportive
     Like a fine wine, a healthy relationship can be cultivated. A Cabernet, for instance, takes its sweet time to be ready for consumption. Likewise, true companionship matures over a period of time. Yes, love at first sight may happen occasionally; but a deep love connection doesn't usually happy overnight. More and more, people are trying to discover what they did wrong in their last relationship. They don't want to blow it with their current mate. Get a grip. Be authentic. Be the grown-up. If your date doesn't like what you have to say, move on to someone else who will. Don't waste your precious time chasing a pipe dream (the wrong partner)! 
The minute we stop moving and learning new things, is the minute we stop living fully. To put it another way, our brains start to expire. 
Read all the great research! Tell your brain to regenerate new cells. If you don't try new things or move, your cells lose their ability to repair themselves. 

When you don't exercise either mentally or physically, your cells believe they're getting ready to die. So they give up. Use positive self-talk and move every day. #growbraincells

Grow your brain cells. Alter your life! 

Be Still.Take action.

Get Inspired.

Draw Lines. 

Create Peace.

Invigorate Others. 
Of course, I think of myself as a relatively normal human being. Is that normal? We all can be a hyper-focused on our electronic devices. We also can become a bit lazy, self-absorbed, and set in our ways. I admit to these faults at times. Naturally, we typically create a rationalization for each of them. Human beings--and a few presidents--find a rationale for worse behaviors, believe me. 

Spontaneity leads to an open life; structure gives rise to intolerance. 

To be an open book or a closed private person, that is the question. No worries there. Nobody cares which way we turn so why respond to insignificant obligations or witless commitments? Take a breathe. 

Flexibility is not always an asset. Just like the fatal adaptation of the frog in science class which adjusted to the slowly boiled water so perfectly that he died. Never adapt to evil or foolishness. Don't go down the rabbit hole. And if you ask me, we all go down the slippery slope sometimes.
The trick is to learn from our mistakes. 

I do feel splintered occasionally. I accept that along with my own asininity.My mind flickers and travels in a myriad directions, like confetti floating to the ground after a grand parade. I can hardly stand the confusion. Were I to control the world, I would stop its rotation long enough to catch my breath. To stop the madness. Wanna get off the merry-go-round of life? Let's turn off all electronic devices and think for ourselves. Be still. We must avoid losing control of our thoughts. That's what Orwell's book, 1984, was all about. Whichever way our minds turns, it's important to have clarity, purpose, compassion, joy, and curiosity. Always be curious. 

Recreate yourself every moment. Which moment? Only this one and this one and this one etc. Accept that we don't know what we don't know. Unplug. Listen. Absorb.

 Nobody ever got any smarter listening to themselves talk!